Temple 10, Kirihataji

第10番札所 得度山 灌頂院 切幡寺
【History of the temple】
Kirihataji is located partway up Mt. Kirihata, at an elevation of 155 meters. The view from the large pagoda, a National Important Cultural Property, is magnificent. The Yoshino River flows calmly below and the majestic mountains of the Shikoku Range stretch out in the distance. Below the temple is a town that was formed due to the presence of the temple, where there were several inns and stores that sold pilgrimage supplies. The temple is known as the place of, “the woman who instantly attained Buddhahood." It is very popular among female visitors who long to see, “a good woman shining with seven-colored light.”

In ancient times, there was a girl staying at the foot of this mountain, weaving cloth. Kobo Daishi came here for a week-long Buddhist ritual. On the final day of the ritual, he asked the girl for a piece of cloth to mend his torn robe. She generously cut off a piece of the cloth she was weaving and offered it to him. Deeply moved by her kindness, he asked her if she wanted anything. She replied, "My father was exiled to an island in connection with the Kusuko Incident in the capital (a conflict within the imperial family in the early Heian period). My mother was pregnant at the time, and if a boy had been born, he too would have been condemned. My mother prayed to Kannon Bosatsu (the Bodhisattva Who Hears the Sounds of the World), "Please let it be a girl," and I was born.” Then the girl said, “I wish I could carve and enshrine an image of Kannon Bosatsu in memory of my deceased parents. I wish I could live for Buddhism.”

Kobo Daishi was deeply moved by this story and carved a statue of Thousand-armed Kannon Bosatsu. He allowed the girl to take the Vow of Refuge and become a Buddhist. He performed the kanjo, a consecration ceremony, by pouring water onto the top of her head. She instantly attained Buddhahood and was transformed into a Thousand-armed Kannon Bosatsu, radiating seven-colored light from her body. Kobo Daishi informed Emperor Saga of this event and built temple buildings here by imperial order. Then he enshrined the image of Kannon Bosatsu he had carved facing south, and placed the image of Kannon Bosatsu that used to be the girl facing north as the principal image of the temple. The names of the temple, Tokudozan (The Mountain of Ordination), Kanjōin (Temple of Kanjo), and Kiribanji (Temple of Cutting Cloth), all come from this legend.

・From the foot of the mountain to the Hondo is a path about 800 meters long. There are 333 stone steps leading up to the Hondo. One section of the staircase is called Onna Yakuzaka (Purification Slope for Women) and another part is called Otoko Yakuzaka (Purification slope for Men).
・Kirihataji Great Pagoda
This pagoda is a National Important Cultural Property. The space between the first and second stories is square-shaped. This is the only pagoda in Japan constructed this way. Built by Toyotomi Hideyori to commemorate his father, Hideyoshi, the construction took 10 years. It was moved from the Sumiyoshi Taisha Jinguji in Osaka to this site in 1873.

・Hatakiri Kannon Bosatsu (A bronze statue of the girl who turned into Kannon. She holds scissors in her right hand and a long cloth in her left.)

【Annual Events】
・Shunki Hatsugishi Chunichi Daihokai (spring memorial service): March 21 (March equinox)
・Shuki Hatsugishi Chunichi Daihokai (autumn memorial service): September 23 (September equinox)
・Hachidai Ryuogu Aki Matsuri (Autumn Festival): 3rd Saturday in October
Address 〒771-1623 徳島県徳島県阿波市市場町切幡字観音129
Telephone Number 0883-36-3010
DirectionsFrom the Donari Interchange, turn left on National Route 318 toward Kamojima, take Prefectural Route 12 (Naruto Ikeda Line) toward Ichiba town, and turn right at Kiribata Substation.
Parking20 cars in the lower grounds (no entry for medium and large vehicles), 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
free of charge

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