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Suraj Yadav Jul 19 2013

How was Saiho-ji temple founded?

Reet Cheema Jul 23 2013
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Saihō-ji, a Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple was constructed during the Nara Period by Gyōki, on the location of one of Prince Shōtoku's former retreats.The temple first operated as a Hossō temple and was dedicated to Amitabha. Legend states that such famous Japanese monks as Kūkai andHōnen later served as the chief priests of the temple.

View from Saihouji pond (Photo by Ivanoff)


Over time, the temple fell into disrepair, and in 1339, the chief priest of the nearby Matsunoo Shrine, Fujiwara Chikahide, summoned the famous Japanese gardener Musō Soseki to help him revive Saihō-ji as a Zen temple. At this time, Musō decided to change the temple's name, to reflect its new Zen orientation. The temple became "Saihō-ji", the name being selected not only because it was a homophone of the original name, but also because the kanji were used in phrases related to Bodhidharma: "Bodhidharma came from the West" and "Bodhidharma's teachings shall spread and come to bear fruit like a five-petaled flower" . Saihō-ji was destroyed by fire during the Ōnin War, and twice ravaged by floods during the Edo Period, but has since been rebuilt.

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