Number 7Hōrin-ji temple
History of the temple
Hōrin-ji is a temple belonging to Jōdo sect (Pure Land Buddhism). It stands in a Misono Ohayashi district of Ise city, on former grounds of Yamada bugyō office (official commissionaires of Ise region), where a famous samurai Ōoka Tadasuke (1677-1752) used to work. This is also a place where Miya River flows into Ise Bay.
Hōrin-ji was founded by a monk Enyo in 1613, when the first buildings were erected. At the time it was a sub-temple of Chōraku-ji temple from Ōminato district.
The statue of Goddess Kannon worshiped in this temple is a Jūichimen Kannon (Eleven-Faced Kannon) which once was a treasure belonging to Jisshō-ji temple. Jisshō-ji used to manage Tsukiyomi no Miya shrine – a sub-shrine of the Gegū outer shrine of the Ise Shrine. In 1868 the new government of Meiji period issued an order to separate Shinto from Buddhism (shinbutsu bunri). As the result Jisshō-ji temple was closed and the Jūichimen Kannon statue was moved to Seirin-ji temple in Ohayashi district. In 1925 Hōrin-ji and Seirin-ji merged and the statue of Goddess Kannon was moved once more. Since then it is worshiped in Hōrin-ji temple.
Jūichimen Kannon statue is a hibutsu (hidden Buddhist statue) and it is shown to the public only once a year – on November 20th, when a Ten-night memorial service (Ojūya hōyō) is being held. Followers call her Ohayashi Kannon and believe that she cures eye diseases.
Since the beginning of 17th Century, each year on the 15th of August during Obon (Festival of the Dead), self-made hand pipe fireworks are set off and traditional dance Dainenbutsu Kanko Odori is performed as a memorial service for the ancestors. Hand pipe fireworks are a form of ceremonial bonfires (okuribi) made to see off the ancestral spirits, and are known in this region as a rare example of a fire festival.