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Temple 76, Konzō-ji

The Temple of the Golden Storehouse

Temple 76, Konzō-ji

Konzo-ji is temple No. 76 on the Shikoku pilgrimage.

Konzo-ji Temple is known as the birthplace of Enchin, latterly known as Chisho Daishi.  It was founded in 774, in the same year Kukai was born, when Wake no Dozen made a life-sized statue of Kannon and built a hall to enshrine it. In 851, the temple received state sponsorship thanks to the work of Enchin, who had brought back valuable knowledge from Tang China, including the female deity Kishimojin, a guardian of mothers and children.

In 928, Emperor Daigo decreed that the temple should be called by its current name. At that time, Konzo-ji was at its most prosperous, with 132 monasteries in its extensive grounds and a congregation of over 1,000 people. Later, the temple suffered destruction repeatedly in wars, losing its treasures.

After having had no priests for around 100 years, the lord of the Takamatsu domain Matsudaira Yorishige and Tendai sect monk Kirakuin Sankai restored the temple.

Later still in 1898, General Nogi Maresuke made the temple his lodging as the first commander of the 11th Infantry Brigade. On New Year’s Eve in 1898, his wife Shizuko visited him from Tokyo, but he told an aide to send her away without seeing her, reasoning that other low-ranking soldiers were unable to enjoy the luxury of seeing their wives at that time. Not knowing what to do, Shizuko lingered by herself under the pine tree as snow fell all around. Then, considering her husband’s feelings, she returned to Tokyo. The pine tree that bore silent witness to this pitiful scene became the stuff of legend. The third generation of this pine tree can still be seen at the temple.

Information

Name in Japanese: 金倉寺

Pronunciation: konzō-ji

Address: 1160 Konzojicho, Zentsuji, Kagawa 765-0031

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