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Temple 50, Hanta-ji

The Temple of Great Prosperity

Temple 50, Hanta-ji

Hanta-ji is temple No. 50 on the Shikoku pilgrimage, or Henro.  A winding road up a little slope brings you to Hanta-ji, tucked against a hillside among some large ponds. This vantage point provides a sweeping, unobstructed view over the southern part of Matsuyama to the mountains and the sea. The temple has a well-kept look, with numerous statues. The ceiling of the belfry is painted with charming Chinese scenes.

The origin of the temple goes back to the monk Gyōki, who carved and enshrined a statue of Yakushi Nyorai here. Kukai also stayed at the temple.

After that, the temple declined for a while, until it was revived with the help of the provincial governor, Minamoto Yoriyoshi, and the celebrated monk, Takaren. In 1279, Emperor Gōda ordered Takaren to pray at Hatan-ji to repel the Mongolian invasion.

When Ippen Shōnin, who founded of the Jishu sect in 1275, studied here as a youth, it was a prosperous temple, with 36 buildings. It also controlled 120 other temples. In 1288, in the last year of his life, Ippen gave the temple the three major sutras of Pure Land Buddhism which his father had owned.

The temple enjoyed the patronage of the Emperors in Kyōto, and subsequently of the Tokugawa shogunate in the Edo period. The symbol of two rings interlinked on the curtain is the crest of the Wakisaka clan who were awarded land in this area for their services at the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600.

Information

Name in Japanese: 繁多寺

Pronunciation: hantaji

Address: 32 Hataderamachi, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-0912

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