Temple 34, Tanemaji

第34番札所 本尾山 朱雀院 種間寺
【History of the temple】
The coast of Tosa Bay seems to be the center of the Shikoku sacred sites. Tanemaji is one of them, and there is an interesting legend connected with a voyage on Tosa Bay.

In 577 an imperial letter was sent by a prince of Baekje (Korea) to Japanese Emperor Bidatsu along with many sutras, stating that he was going to send Buddhist priests and temple builders. They came to Japan during the reign of Emperor Yomei (585-587) and built Shitennoji in Osaka. On their way home, they were threatened by a powerful storm off the coast of Tosa (Kochi) and stopped at the port of Akiyama, close to Mt. Motoozan, where Tanemaji now stands. They carved a seated statue of Yakushi Nyorai (Medicine Buddha) measuring approximately 145 cm and enshrined it on the summit of Mt. Mottozan. This is believed to be the origin of the temple.

Two hundred years later, during the Konin era (814-824), Kobo Daishi returned from Tang Dynasty China and visited this area. He founded the temple, enshrined this Yakushi Nyorai statue as the principal image, and built various halls. It is said that he named the temple Tanemaji after the five kinds of grains (rice, wheat, millet, etc.) which he had brought back from Tang China and sowed on the temple grounds. In the Tenryaku era (947-957), the temple received an imperial inscription entitled Tanema from Emperor Murakami (reigned 946-967). Lord Yamauchi of Tosa donated a large area of fields and forests to the temple, and the temple buildings were renovated. The temple escaped the government movement to abolish Buddhism in the early Meiji period.

The principal image of the temple is called Yakushi-san of Safe Delivery. The temple has many followers and is known for its ladle with the bottom missing.

・Ladle with the bottom missing
Pregnant women come to the temple for two nights and three days to pray for safe delivery. They are given a ladle with the bottom removed, with an amulet attached. They display the ladle in their rooms, and return it to the temple if they have a safe delivery.
・Principal image
A seated statue of Yakushi Nyorai with a stout body and dignified expression. It is designated a National Important Cultural Property.
・Chozubachi (water fountain)
The oldest in the town and designated as a Cultural Property by the town. It was built in 1677.

【Annual Events】
・Principal Image General Public Day: January 3rd and March 8th
Address 〒781-0321 高知県高知市春野町秋山72
Telephone Number 088-894-2234
DirectionsFrom the Tosa Interchange, take Route 56 toward Haruno Town. Get off at Tosaden Kotsu Nagahama stop.
Parking70 cars, 5 buses

People who viewed this page also viewed these pages.