The Oku-no-in (The Penetralia) Of Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple
The Oku-no-in (The Penetralia) Of Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple
The Oku-no-in of Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple is the place where the founder Nichiren
first preached to people. And the first abbot of Hokekyo-ji, the venerable Nichijo
built here Hokke-ji Temple. Benzaiten is dedicated at the Oku-no-in as
a member of the seven gods of good fortune, and on the tourist guide plate
there, it is explained that she might have somthing related to Ugatokushoshin
dedicated at the Ugajin-do
behind the Soshi-do
. Moreover, there are many plum trees in the temple and the white and red
plum blossoms bloom beautifully in Febraury.
The Okunoin (The Penetralia) of Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple (The Wakamiya
In the middle of Kamakura period, Jonin Toki
serving the Shimosa
Governor, Yoritane Chiba, kept his base here called 'Wakamiya Yawata-no-sho',
he had a round trip between Wakamiya and Kamakura to serve at the palace
of the Shogun. In those days, he met the founder Nichiren and became his
When the founder Nichiren got fired at Matsubagaya in Kamakura
) by the government of the Kamakura Shogunate
in 1260, he escaped to Wakamiya and asked Jonin to help him. Then Jonin
Toki built the Hokke-do
in his castle for him to stay and he asked Nichiren to teach him. And
also he came again when he had been attached by Kagenobu Tojo at Komatsubara
(southern Chiba prefecture
) in 1264. It is said that the founder Nichiren had given his sermon about
a hundred times at the Hokke-do in Wakamiya. Therefore, Oku-no-in is the
place where Nichiren first preached to people. And there are many myths
of the Nichiren and his supporters, Noriakira Ota in Nakayama, Norinobu
Soya in Soya in Ichikawa and so on.
After Nichiren had passed in 1282, Jonin Toki became a priest and named Nichijo, then he made the Hokke-do Hokke-ji Temple. Hokke-ji Temple united Honmyo-ji Temple in Nakayama to be Hokekyo-ji Temple, and Hokke-ji has been called 'Oku-no-in' since then. Then Nichijyo became the first abbot of Hokekyo-ji.
The thickly growing trees on piled soil is a part of the structural remnant such as the earthwork surrounding the castle at Wakamiya in their ages. Therefore, it was called 'Wakamiya Yakata Ato' (the ancient site of the castle at Wakamiya).
According to Edo Meiisho Zue, the founder Nichiren carved Isson-Yon-Bosatsu (bodhisattva) at Oku-no-in, and the twelfth abbot, the venerable Nikko built a Kyozuka (a mound of Buddhist Scriptures) for ten thousands Lotus Sutras there, and the statue of the founder Nichiren curved by the venerable Nippo was dedicated.
Benzaiten is only a female god in the members of the seven gods of good
fortune, and she is originally a goddess in the Indian myth, Sarasvati
(called in Sanskrit), she is a wife of Brahma and the goddess of large
rivers. 'Sarasvati' is feminin noun, means 'one who has water', so she
is the goddess of music, knowledge since it comes from water flowing. Sarasvati
is first called Benzaiten in Japan and also introduced as a goddess of
knowledge. In Buddhism, Benzaiten appears on 'konkomei saisyo ou kyo' (the
Golden Light Sutra of the Most Victorious Kings) at first, and it says
that she gives knowledge, wealth and long life to people who preach and
listen to the sutra. Howvere, she had often worshipped as a goddess of
skills, and she united and mixed with Ichikishimahime-no-mikoto, therefore
her statues are generally painted white in her skin with crown on her head
and with biwa harp on her arm.
After the middle Ages, Benzaiten has been worshipped as the god of property and she has become a member of the seven gods of good fortune. It is told that Benzaiten has the miraculous virtue of knowledge, property, charm and matchmaking.
Benzaiten has been dedicated on the different side of Ugatokushoshin since the ancient times. Therefore Ugatokushoshin in Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple might be dedicated on the different side of Benzaiten as it had been built. There are thousands of visitors come to pray it as Benzaiten is famous for fulfillment of their wishes.
Shichifukujin (the Seven Dieties of Good Fortune) In Ichikawa City
奥之院案内板 平成十三年三月 市川市教育委員会
The Plum Blossoms At Nakayama Oku-no-in
- Nakayama Oku-no-in has a great accessibility from both Narita and Haneda
- From Narita International Airport, take Keisei-line and get off Keisei-Nakayama
Sta, take minimally 40 minutes from Narita Airport.. And also take JR Sobu-exoress
line, transfer the line at Funabashi to Sobu-Local line, get off Shimousa-Nakayama
- From Haneda International Airport, take Keikyu-line bound to Narita, and
get off Keisei-Nakayama Sta.
- From Tokyo Sta, take Sobu-Express line bound to Chiba or Narita, transfer
the line to Sobu-Local line bound to Chiba, Tsudanuma, or Nishi-Funabashi
at Ichikawa Sta, get off Shimousa-Nakayama Sta.
- From Akihabara Sta, take Sobu line bound to Chiba, get off Shimousa-Nakayama
- Take 10 minute walk from Keisei-Nakayama Sta, and take 15 minutes walk from Shimousa-Nakayama Sta.
- From Nakayama Hokekyo-ji Temple, climb up the road on the east side of
it for 5 minutes, you could find bakery on your left at the cross, then
turn to right and walk for a minute, there is Oku-no-in on your left. And
turn to left and walk 50 meters, there is a gate of Oku-no-in.
Nakayama Okunoin Temple
2-21-1 Wakamiya, Ichikawa-shi, Chiba-ken
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.