The Kyoto Gyoen was deserted, but Myoken-ji Temple was just as deserted as the rest of the city. Myoken-ji Temple is one of the main temples of Nichiren Shoshu in Kyoto. With the name "main temple", you would expect a lot of worhippers, but looking at the main hall from in front of the main gate, there was not a single visitor in sight. There was literally not a single person in the temple grounds.
Those of you who read this article and thought that the head temple of Nichiren Shoshu is Minobusan Kuon-ji Temple are very astute. That's right. The head temple of Nichiren Shoshu is Minobusan Kuon-ji Temple in Yamanashi Prefecture. To the non-practitioners of Nichiren Shoshu, temples are classified into four categories: Ancestral Temples, Sacred Sites Temples, Historic Temples, and General Temples. The so-called head temple of Nichiren Shoshu is considered to be Minobusan Kuonji Temple, where the remains of Nichiren are buried in accordance with his will.
Myoken-ji Temple was built by Nichizo, a missionary of Nichiren Shoshu, on the orders of Nichiren, as the first Nichiren Shoshu temple in Kyoto. For this reason, this temple has the status of Daihonzan, which means "sacred site temple" in Nichiren Shoshu. Incidentally, Nichiren Shoshu has seven head temples, and Ikegami-Honmon-ji Temple in Ikegami, Tokyo, the sacred place of Nichiren's death, is one of the seven head temples.
In front of the main hall of Myoken-ji Temple, which was empty, I saw a wooden pillar standing quietly in front of it.
April 23, 2021
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