Number 26Tarusakasan Kannon-ji temple
History of the temple
Tendai sect temple which enshrines Ryōgen (Ganzan Jie Daishi)
Tarusakasan Kannon-ji is a famous temple which worships monk Ryōgen (also known as Ganzan Daishi or Jie Daishi, 912-985) – a restorer of Tendai sect as a main statue. It is well known in the area and referred to as Tarusakasan no Odaishisan (Great Teacher of Tarusakasan) or Ganzansan (Master Ganzan).
The temple’s history started in 982 when young Ryōgen, on the way to Ise province, visited this area during his preaching tour. The master of this land Funaki Yoshimi became a devoted believer and decided to donate a hall at Mount Tarusaka. Tarusaka Kannon-ji became a branch temple of Tendai sect in Ise province. In its prime time the temple was a big complex consisting of 24 sub-temples. Unfortunately all buildings were destroyed in 1575 during a fight with troops of Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582, later regarded as the first “Great Unifier” of Japan). The temple fell into ruin. More than 100 years later it was rebuilt thanks to the efforts of Nomura Masuemon (1646-1710) – a samurai of Kuwana province. He asked his Lord Matsudaira Sadashige (1644-1717) to revive the temple. As a result Tarusaka Kannon-ji was rebuilt in 1691 by the order of Lord Matsudaira.
Ryōgen (Ganzan – Jie Daishi)
Ryōgen was born in 912 and it is said that he was a descendant of Emperor Uda (867-931). When he was 12 years old he climbed Mount Hiei, the sacred ground of Tendai school of Buddhism. He became a monk and studied under a high monk Risen. At the age of 54 he became a head priest of Enryaku-ji temple, the main temple of Tendai sect located at Mount Hiei. When Ryōgen was 73 years old a plague was spreading across the Country. He felt pity for the suffering people so he decided to conduct a demon conquering ritual. When he looked in the mirror, he saw himself growing demon horns. He carved his image into a wooden block, used it to print protective amulets and distributed it among people. Later on these amulets gathered many believers and were called Tsuno Daishi (Horned Master) or Mame Daishi (Bean Master or Demon Destroying Master).
Mie Prefecture Yokkaichi Tarusaka-cho 1266
8:00 - 17:00