The Artists, Writers, Poets Related To Nakayama Hokekyo-ji
The Artists, Writers, Poets Related To Nakayama Hokekyo-ji
Many poeple has visited Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple since it was built.
On this page, some of them are introduced; Koetsu Honami the artist in
early Edo Period
, Socho the Renga-shi (linked-verse poet), Shiki Masaoka the haiku poet
in Meiji era, Kafu Nagai living in Ichikawa
and so on. In their works, Hokekyo-ji in the ages are drawn in their words.
Koets Honami; His Framed Letters, The Hall For His Tomb In Hokekyo-ji
Nakayama Hokekyo-ji has four framed letters written by Koetsu Honami,
the famous calligrapher and artist in early Edo period. They are hanged
on the Soshi-do hall
, the Hokke-do hall
, the Nio-mon hall
and the Taikyaku-den (the main hall)
. And there is the hall for his family's tombs and his tomb. They are all designated by Ichikawa city as the tangible cultural property.
And the Goju-no-to
(the five-story pagoda is designated as the important cultural property
by Japan) was built by the order of Koshitsu Honam nephew of Koets (the
son of his elder sister) to dedicate his parents with the financial support
by Toshimitsu Maeda the lord of Kaga (Ishikawa prefecture)
Koetsu Honami was an well-talented artist lived in Kyoto from Azuchi-Momoyama
to Edo Period.
Koetsu was born in a branch familly of the distinguished sword appraiser
of Honami Family. He is the first son of Koji Honami. His popular name
is Jirosaburo, later he was named Koetsu, and his pseudonym was Jitokusai,
Tokuyusai and Taikyoan
He worke on his family business of sharpening and appraising swords, and he also had some deep knowledge and distinguished skills of the calligraphy, the ceramic art, the gold sprinkled lacquer ware and the tea ceremony. He created the his own school to teach the calligraphy, so he wrote a lot of tankas on the writing paper which Sotatsu Tawaraya and some artists had painted on, so they took the symphony in color. Therefore he was entitled 'Kanei-no-sanhitsu' (the great calligrapher in Kanei period ) along with Tadanobu Konoe and Akinori Shokado. 'Kingindeishitaesikishi' possessed in Yamatobunkakan in Nara city is famous. Two ceramic tea bowls 'Fujisan' and 'Amekumo' were the masterpieces of his works, and they are the National Treasures. On the gold sprinkled lacquer ware, he adopted the classics a lot, he used leads, tin and blue shells on 'Funabashi-makie-suzuri-bako' (the national treasure in Tokyo Metropolitan Museum). He created his school on the ceramic arts called 'Koetsu-rakuyaki' and japan arts called 'Koetsu-makie'. And he published 'Sagabon-Isemonogatari' printed by magnificent kana letters with Soan Sumikura. He learned 'the tea ceremony' by Oribe Furuta, then he was devoted to Jou Takeno's school.
Koetsu was given the land in Takagamine in north Kyoto in 1615 by Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first Shogun of Edo Shogunate, then he created the art village there with his family and his followers together.
Kiyonobu Honami, the grandfather of Koetsu served the sixth Shogun of Muramachi Bakufu (Shogunate)
as the distinguished sword appraiser. When he was put in jail as he had
follen into disgrace with the Shogun, he met the venerable Nisshin
there. Kiyonobu was powerfully impressed with his teaching, and he became
a faithful believer of Nichiren Sect
. After he had been freed, Kiyonobu took tonsure and was given his Buddhist
name 'Honko' by Nisshin, and he became the influential supporter of Honpouji
Temple in Kyoto.
Socho the Renga-shi (the linked-verse poet)
Socho, the renga-shi (the linked-verse poet or renga
poet) talked about Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple in his book 'Azuma-ji no
tsuto', he wrote, 'I went across the Mama-no-tsugihashi bridge, and I stayed
Hokekyo-ji Temple for a night. On next morning, they wanted me to compose
a poem, then I composed a hakku (the start verse of a linked-verse poem).
(A leaf of a ceder tree, the moon at midnight after the storm)
The storm was strong last night, but it is very mild weather today, it feels like the creek in Katsushika in spring.
Socho was a renga-shi (a linked-verse poet) from Shimada
(Shimada city in Sizuoka prefecture
) in Muromachi period. He was a son of a blacksmith, his name was Choroku
in his childhood. First he named 'Sokan' by himself, and his pseudonym
was Choa, Saiokuken.
He entered the school of Sogi, one of the greatest rengashi in Muramachi
period, and served him for forty years, and he often went on trips with
Socho wrote 'Minase Sangin Hyakuin' with his master Sogi and Shohaku (a
fomous rengashi) is very famous. When Sogi was sick in bed on his journey
to Echigo (Niigata prefecture), Socho visited him from his home Suruga
and went to Hakone (Kanagawa prefecture). He attended his master's deathbed,
and wrote 'Sogi Shuen ki' (The Record Of Sogi's End; 1502). Later he lived
in seclusion at Saiokuken in Maruko in Suruga-no-kuni, he went on trips
to Western, eastern, and northern regions, and he wrote 'Azuma-ji no tsuto'
in 1509. He remained his diaries 'Socho Nikki' (1530-1531) and 'Socho Shuki'
He had visited Ikkyu, the abbot of Daitoku-ji Temple in Kyoto who was one
of the famous and popular priest in Japan, he enjoyed making witty and
polished Kyokas (satrical poems) and haikai poetry with him.
His works are 'Ameyo-no-ki' (1519), 'Renga-hikyo-syu', 'Kabe-kusa' of poems (1512), 'Nachikago' (1517), 'Oimimi' (1522-26)., etc.
One day in fall in 1896, Shiki Masaoka visited Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple
when he suffered spinal caries. And he remained several poems in his books.
Shiki Masaoka is a poet in Meiji era from Matsuyama city in Ehime prefecture.
His name is Tsunenori, so Shiki was his pseudonym. His aother pseudonym
is Takeno Satobito, Dassai Shoya Shujin (the owner of Dassai Book Store).
He dropped out the facility of letters in the University Of Tokyo in 1892
and he started working at the newspaper 'Nippon'. During working at 'Nippon',
he begun the movement of haiku poetry
innovation campaign, and 'Dassai Shoya Haiwa' started to be serialized.
He wrote 'Bunkai Yatsuatari' (1893) and 'Haikai
Taiyo' (1895). After he wrote 'Utayomi-ni Atauru Sho'(1898), he founded
'Negishi-Tanka-Kai' (the group of writing poem at Negishi Tokyo) to try
his best to innovate Tanka poetry
. He expressed that Haiku and Tanka should be the literature based on the reality. He raised many poets, Meisetsu Naito, Koroku Sato, Hekigoto Kawahigasi and Kyoshi Takahama
were Haiku poets, Hotsuma Katori, Fumoto Oka, Sachiyo Ito
and Takashi Nagatsuka were Tanka poets. He published 'Hototogisu' to renew
Haiku, it later became the Hototogisu group, so he built up the basic movement
of the group and another one 'Araragi' group. His works were a book of
haikku poems 'Kanzan-Rakuboku', a book of tanka poems 'Takenosatouta',
his essay 'Bokuju Itteki' (1902),'Byosho Rokusyaku' (1902), his diary 'Gyoga
Manroku' (1902) etc,.
In an essay 'Nakayama Dera' written by Kyoshi Takahama, a famous writer
from Meiji to Showa, describes a lot about Nakayama, Yawata and Ichikawa
in 1897. At that time he was 24 years old, and he was not interested in
much about Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple. But he went to the temple since he
might be urged by Shiki Masaoka
who was his teacher and a great poet in his age, so Kyoshi wrote in the
essay that Shiki had loved Nichiren.
Kyoshi Takahama got on Sobu Tetsudo Line (now called Sobu Line) had opened in 1893 at Honjo Station in Tokyo and got off at Nakayama Station (now Shimousa Nakayama Station), then he visited Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple.
At the temple, Kyoshi sat at Soshido Hall and he was lost in thought. He
wrote that his ideal residence could be not in urban area but not far from
it. He thought it at Nakayama, it supposed to be that Kyoshi would praise
Nakayama could have a comfortable environment to live.
After that Kyoshi walked to Yawata and saw Yawata no Yabushirazu
and Senbon Icho
in Katsushika Hachimangu Shrine
. It is very interesting that the trees lined along the approach road of the shrine had changed, he wrote they were pine trees, but now they are gingko trees. And he misunderstood that the symbolic tree in the shrine would be a huge hackberry, but it is the huge gingko tree in real. Moreover, young writer Kyoshi decided to walk to home in Tokyo instead of waiting for the next train for a half and an hour at Ichikawa Station, he called Edogawa River 'Tonegawa River' while he was crossing it.
Kyoshi Takahama 1874-1959
Kyoshi Takahama was a haiku poet and writer from Meiji to Showa. His name was Kiyoshi Takahama. His home town was Ehime prefecture the same as his teacher Shiki Masaoka.
Kyoshi became a leading haiku poet of 'Hototogisu' after the death of Shiki.
He valued form, seasonal words and objective sketching of subjective feelings
on his writing, and he insisted that the ideology of making haiku poems
could be pure and natural without any preconceptions. He contributed diffusing
haiku poems and training young haiku poets. He wrote many essays and novels,
'Keito (cockscomb)', 'Haikaishi (haikai creators)', and 'Kaki Futatsu (the
two persimmons) ' are his novels. Dakotsu Iida, Kusatao Nakamura, Shuoushi Mizuhara
, Teijo Nakamura and so forth were his disciples.
In 1937, Kyoshi Takahama was appointed to
the member of Japan Art Academy and in 1954 he was awarded The Order of
Anyway, in the volume 8th in the complete works of Kyoshi Takahama, his
essay 'Nakayamadera' describes his visit in Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple.
明治文学全集28巻 p312 “・・・天麩羅のむきみとは一對なり。中山なる法華経寺の會式に參りたる時、?の丸揚かき揚の何れを取るもすさまじきを、山門の傍にて見たり。・・・”
(...it's a pair in shucked tenpura. When I visited at the ceremony for
the founder Nichiren at Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple, both ? and mixed tempuras
were great, I had looked at them beside the Akamon Gate.
Rokuu Saito lived in Ichikawa city Ciba prefecture as he escaped from dunning.
Ryokuu Saito was a story writer, reviewer and a esseyist from Kanbe in
Ise-no-kuni (Mie prefecture). His name was Ken Saito, and other pseudonyms
were Midori Koto and Shotaro Shojiki (Goodman of Honesty).
First he studied law, later he studied under Robun Kanagaki and he studied
literature. He was famous for his polished critics, especially his reviews
'Shosetsu Hsshu' criticized Shoyo Tsubouchi, Simei Futabatei, Koyo Ozaki
and so on in the literary satirically circles at that time came into the
spotlight. Thereafter he discovered and established his own style of writing
with severe satires.
He was the story writer who stood on the line between Edo and Modern literacy,
his works were the novel 'Abura Jigoku' (1891), 'Kakurenbo'(1891; Hide
And SEEK), and the essay 'Seigan Hakuto' (1900), etc,.
Kafu Nagai moved to Ichikawa city in January 1946, and he walked on Ichikawa
almost everyday. According to his diary 'Danchotei Nichijo', there are
many lines he talked about the specific views in the city at that time.
In those lines, he talked about Nakayam area several times when he frequentely
went to Kaijin in Funabashi city where next to Nakayama. He of course wrote
Hokekyo-ji. There are several words 'walk on Nakayam' in the diary.
October 31 1946, Kafu walked to Nakayama at noon.
December 4 1946, he passed through the site in Hokekyo-ji and went along
the road to the Oku-no-in...
October 16, 17 1947, he visited Nakayama Hokekyo-ji to see the ceremony for the founder Nichiren's anniversary, those days, many visitors came, so it was very crowded.
Kafu Nagai was a novelist born in Tokyo and died at Icikawa city. His
name was Sokichi, another pseudonym was the owner of Danchotei, therefore
his diary entitled 'Danchotei Nichijo'.
He dropped out Tokyo-Kosho Huzoku-Gakko (the Hitotsubashi University and
Tokyo University Of Foreign Study), and he studied under Ryuro Hirotsu.
He had got influenced by the French novelist Emile Zola, he published 'Jigoku-no-hana'
(1902; the flowers in hell) to attempt introducing Zola-ism to Japan.
Kafu went to the United States in 1903, then went to France 1908. After
he was back, he won fame by his work 'America Monogatari' (1908; the story
of America). Next, he issued 'France Monogatari' (1909; the story of France),
'Fukagawa-no-uta' (the songs of Fukagawa), 'Sumida-gawa' (Sumida river),
'Reisho' (smiling with cold feelings). He played the important role of
the anti-naturalism with his unique critics and his esthetic epicurean
style of writing. He hated the mere shell of the culture at Tokyo, and
'Taigyaku-jiken' (1910-11) gave him shocked, so he emphasized to turn back
to the Edo culture; he wrote 'Udekurabe' (1916-17; the competition) that
he drew the life in Karyukai (the world of Geisha), and 'Okame-sasa' (1918).
His works 'Tsuki-no-ato-saki' (1931) showed his special to describe the
life in common.
During the world war second, he had not worked, but he wrote some stories of 'Fuchin' (rise and fall), 'Odoriko' (the dancer), 'Kunsho' (the decoration) and 'Raihousha' (the visitor) secretly, and he published them. 'Danchotei Nichijo' his diary he wrote since 1942 also published.
Kafu moved to Ichikawa city in 1946. He was awarded Bunka Kunsho (the order
of culture) in 1952.
「新版 断腸亭日乗 第六巻」 岩波書店
Shizue Kezuka is a Hiku poet from Ibaraki prefecture, She moved to Ichikawa
in 1937. She remained many poems about Ichikawa and Nakayama.
One of her haiku poem is carved on the stone tablet in the left picture.
It stands on the way to the Shogyo-den near the Hoden-mon Gate..
The Landmarks in Nakayama Hokekyouji Temple
Takikyakuden is the main hall of Hokekyoji and it has the business office and Kishibojindo Hall dedicated to the goddess of children on the end of the long corrido of the main hall.
In spring, there is millions of cherry blossoms in Hokekyoji and in summer, lotus blooms on ryuo-ike pond. In fall, there are beautiful colored leaves. Every season, visitors could enjoy seeing the sights.
It is characterized the twin hip-and-gable roof structure (hiyoku-irimoya-style), and hengaku written by Koetsu Honami hangs in front.
It was built in early Edo period (1622) by request of Koshitsu Honami supported by Maeda Family in Kaga.
It was built in Kamakura period.
It was moved from Aizen-dou in Kamakura 700 years ago.
It was designed by the famous architect Chuta Ito, it stores many scripts
written by the Founder Nichiren.
It enshrines Kiyomasa Kato, one of the most famous daimyo in Sengoku period.
From Nov 1 to Feb 10, hundreds of Buddhist priests practice severly every year.
The henguku hunged in front of the gate was written by Koetsu Honami, famous artist in Momoyama Period.
It was built for worshipping Jurasetsunyo, Kishibozin, Daikokusama.
It is also called Sou-mon (the main gate).
The founder Nichiren built the small shrine to dedicate the dragon god to pray for rain.
It enshrins Ugazin who is the guardian deity of Hokekyou-ji Temple.
It dedicates Hokushin Myouken Star that the Chiba Family deeply believed in, Hokekyoji traditionally succeeds. In November, Tori-no-ich is held in the site to dedicate the star.
The founder Nichiren preached first time at the Toki's castle called Wkakamiya Yakata. And Toki built a temple 'Hokkeji', it is the origin of Oku no In.
It was built in 1719 by famous caster Ota Suruga-no-kami in Kanda. It is the bigest great Buddha in Chiba prefecture.
Nichijo was the first abbot of Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple and Naki Icho is a gingko tree having a sad legend.
There are some other landmarks in Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple.
Koetsu Honami specially remained his calligraphy in Hokekyo-ji Temple, and Shiki Masaoka, Kafu Nagai discribed it well.
Cherry blossoms in Hokekyoji are amazingly wonderful.