The Soshi-do Hall In Nakayama Hokekyo-ji
Passing through the approach road of Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple
, there is a five-story pagoda and a big hall having two rooves in front.
The hall is called Hokekyoji Soshido designated as the Important Cultural
Property by National Government. And the roof was built by a very unique
architectural style called Hiyoku-Irimoya-zukuri (twin hip-and-gable roof
structure), and there are only two buildings existing in Japan, one is
this and another one is the main hall of Kibitsu Jinja Shrine in Okayama
Prefecture. In spring, many cherry blossoms dramatically bloom around Soshido
Hall. The flamed calligraphy hanging on the hall was written by one of
the greatest calligraphers in Edo period
, Koetsu Honami
. And Soshido Hall was described by a haiku
poet in Meiji Era, Kyoshi Takahama
in his essay 'Nakayamadera'.
Why don't you visit Hokekyoji Soshido Hall?
The Hokekyoji Soshido as the Important Cultural Property
Hokekyo-ji Soshido; The Important Cultural Property Designated By The National
Date of designation; May 18th of 1985.
Architectural structure; The length of beam 12.74meters, a single storey
in Hiyoku-Irimoya-zukuri (twin hip-and-gable roof structure). The width
of front kohais (a roof built over the steps leading up to a temple building)
is 5.46 meters, and the width of its back is 1.82 meters , with munafuda
11mai (eleven wooden tags commemorating the foundation of the temple).
The name Soshi-do implies that this building dedicates the founder of the Nichren Sect
, and the building stores Nichren
's statue carved by Nippou (1259-1341). So 'Soshi' means the first man
who starts the religious sects or some other groups, including some academic
The Soshi-do was first built Shochu 2nd (1325) of Kamakura Period
. At that time, it was called a 5 ken-do (5 ken means the width of the
building, a ken is about 1.82 meters in classic Japanese measure, so 5
ken is about 9.10 meters wide) for the founder Nichiren enshrined. Since
that, it had got fires several times. The Soshi-do now existing was built
in Enpo 6th (1678) of Edo Period
Besides the hengaku, a kind of tablet hanged up on the center of the Soshi-do'
front kouhai was written by Koetsu Honami（1558-1637)
, one of the most famous and popular calligraphers and artists in Azuchi Momoyama Period
or Early Edo Period.
The building is now 7 ken-do (12.74 meters wide), the roof looks two roofs
lined beside, it is the feature of it, and called Hiyoku-Irimoya-Tukuri
(twin hip-and-gable roof structure). It is very unique and rare structure,
there are only two buildings existing now in Japan. One is of course the
Soshi-do in Hokekyo-ji, another one is very famous, it is the National
Treasure, the Kibitsu-jinja Honden in Okayama prefecture.
The inner space is divided into two, first layer of ge-jin and inner space.
And the inner space is also divided into four, the wider space of nai-jin,
both side is called waki-jin and back space is called go-jin. There are
willow lattice frames on the walls between nai-jin and ge-jin, and there
are removable partition called Kekkai on the lower parts of the wall. Besides
the kekkai are also used between the nai-jin and the waki-jin, but they
are rationally removed when some big religious events are held in. This
is very typical structure in the temples belonging to Nichren Sect. The
floor of the nai-jin is generally wooden-style, but now straw mats are
laid on the floor. The ceiling is called a square frame ceiling, so it
looks like a the squares of a "go-board" in a Japanese game called
'go', the edges of each square are black Japanese urushi lacqure coating,
and a bellflower crest is painted on each square on the ceiling. In addition
the upper part of the nai-jin is solemnly decolated with rich color
The large hall of Nichiren Sect like Soshi-do in Hokekyo-ji is very rare in Kanto Area, it is very important building that the date of construction is known, and also its scale and structure shows the trend of the common people's faith in Edo period.
It took ten years to tear down and to repair Soshi-do、so it was completed in Heisei 9th (1997), the building was restored to its original state.
Ichikawashi Board of Education
Besides, in 'Nakayama Dere' an essay written by Kyoshi Takahama
a leading haiku poet, Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple was described, and Kyoshi
visited it and sat on a step of Soshido Hall in 1897.
Hokekyoji Soshido and Cherry Blossoms
There are many cherry trees in front of Hokekyoji Soshido and visitors
could enjoy their wonderful experiences while they walk on the approach
road to it since they are covered with millions of cherry blossoms in Spring.
The Map to Soshido Hall In Nakayama Hokekyoji
Soshido Hall In Nakayama Hokekyoji Temple
- Soshido Hall in Nakayama Hokekyouji Temple has a great accessibility from
both Narita and Haneda International Airport.
- 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-express line, transfer the line at Funabashi to Sobu-Local line, get off Shimousa-Nakayama Sta.
- 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 Sta.
- Take 4 minute walk from Keisei-Nakayama Sta, and take 7 minutes walk from
- 2-10-1 Nakayama, Ichikawa-shi, Chiba-pref, Japan
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.