Temple 19, Tatsueji

第19番札所 橋池山 摩尼院 立江寺
【History of the Temple】
Tatsueji is a bekkaku head temple of the Koyasan Shingon sect. It is considered the fundamental place of the 88 temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, and is known as the Sosekisho of Shikoku, the principal barrier station of Shikoku, and Awa no Sekisho, the barrier station of Awa (Tokushima).

According to legend, the temple was founded by Gyoki by order of Emperor Shomu (reigned 724-749). Gyoki carved a small golden statue of Jizo Bosatsu (Earth Treasury Bodhisattva), about 5.5 cm tall, to pray for safe delivery for Empress Komyo. Kobo Daishi saw this statue in 815. He felt that because of its small size, it might be lost in the future, so he carved a 1.9-meter-tall statue of Enmei Jizo Bosatsu (Earth Treasury of Long Life Bodhisattva) and placed the original image inside the larger one. He also changed the temple name to Tatsueji. At that time, the temple was located in a beautiful area about 400 meters west of the present site, near the mountains. It was said to be a huge temple with seven major buildings.

Tatsueji could not escape the fires of the Tensho era (1575-1785) and suffered a devastating blow. Only the principal image was saved. The temple was rebuilt at its present location with the aid of Hachisuka Iemasa, the first lord of the Awa. In 1974 there was another fire and again principal image was saved. The Hondo, which was rebuilt in 1977, has a large ceiling painting. It is highly regarded as a cultural asset representing Japanese-style painting of the Showa era (1926-1989), along with the ceiling paintings in the Kannondo. The temple's legendary Shaka Sansonzu (Three Images of the Historical Buddha) is designated a National Important Cultural Property.

Although the temple was a barrier station which judges evil minds, it was also known by the affectionate name Koyasu no Jizoson and Tatsueji no Jizosan.

・Kurokamido with a bell cord with flesh
This is a small shrine on the right side of Daishido. Legend has it that when a woman named Okyo came before Jizo, because of her evil deeds, her hair stood up and got caught in the bell cord. Okyo's life was spared because she repented immediately.
・Shirasagibashi Bridge (White Egret Bridge)
Located in front of the temple. It is said that Gyoki received a suggestion from a white egret on this bridge.

・Ceiling of Kannondo

【Important Events】
・New Year's Eve, New Year's Temple Visit: From New Year's Day to January 3rd
・Hoshi Matsuri (Purifying fire ritual): Setsubun (the day before Lichun)
・Hatsuehiki (First annual ceremony related to Kobo Daishi), Big Ueki Market: February 23-25
・Natsueshiki (Summer ceremony related to Kobo Daishi), Segaki (Memorial service): July 24
・Ancestral memorial service, Mizuko kuyo (Memorial service for babies), Ryusui Kanjo (Another memorial service): November 23
・Goma fire ritual: Every Saturday, 1:00 p.m.
・Yoga Class: Every Monday, Thursday 14:00~15:00
Address 〒773-0017 徳島県小松島市立江町字若松13番地
Telephone Number 0885-37-1019
DirectionsFrom JR Minami-Komatsushima, go west and turn left at the Hikaichino-cho intersection, then go south on Route 55. Turn right at the sign and follow the directions.
Parking30 cars,5 microbuses,6 buses
30 cars (300 yen), 5 microbuses (1000 yen), 6 buses (1000 yen)
Website Official website
RemarksLodging: Available (200 people)