Welcome to Bukkoji Buddhist Temple!
Please sit on the tatami mat and face the Statue of Shinran (1173-1262), who was the founder of our Shin Buddhism.
Why don't you clasp your hands in prayer and try to single out what is most important to you. You may not be able to do so, since you have too many things that are important to you. But are they really important to you?
Haven't they become the seeds of your trouble? Don't you have trouble, say, with your spouse, parents, children, or work?
Do things go the way you wish them to go?
You must have been born with blessings and expectations to live a happy and rewarding life.
If you are living an unsatisfied life, it's truly a pity. Blessed with Nembutsu (thinking about the Buddha while chanting the name of Buddha), Shinran spent his 90 years leading us to the way of truth.
Nembutsu helps all people to walk toward the way of truth.
We would like you to make your visit to our temple today an opportunity for you to get to know more about Buddhism.
The Origin of Bukkoji Buddhist Temple
In 1212, following his deportation to Echigo (northeast of Kyoto), Shinran returned to Kyoto and began to develop the teaching of Shin Buddhism at a hermitage in Yamashina (eastern part of Kyoto).
This hermitage was the origin of the present-day Bukkoji Temple. It was named Koryu Shoboji Buddhist Temple.
Ryogen (1295-1335), the 7th Abbot, the Restorer of Bukkoji
Developing the teaching of Shin Buddhism, Ryogen shifted the mission field from Eastern to Western Japan, with headquarters in Kyoto, where traditional Buddhism was still popular. Since Japan was a wartorn place, people who found it hard to live without a clear guiding voice began to get together with Ryogen, seeking his virtuous teaching. In 1320, Ryogen relocated Bukkoji from Yamashina to Shirutani (the place where the Kyoto National Museum is located at present).
On December 8th, 1335, when Ryogen was 42 years old, he was killed by an armed robber at Shichiri Pass in lga (southeast of Kyoto) on his way back from one of his teaching trips.
Ryogen wrote a letter on his sleeve with his bloody finger, asking pardon for the murderer: "Being killed here by a robber is my shukugo (fate). This man should not be punished. I find in him a conversion. Give him the teaching of Buddhism."
Ryogen was the very first who institutionalized Shin Buddhism in this country.
It may be well said that Ryogen was the restorer not only of the Bukkoji Institute but also of Shin Buddhism.
The Name of Bukkoji
During the reign of Emperor Godaigo (1318-1339), Bukkoji experienced tremendous growth and achieved great strength. Those who were opposed to Bukkoji were jealous.
One night, they stole Honzon (the image of Amida) and other religious treasures of the temple and threw them away in a bamboo grove. That night in a dream, the Emperor saw a ray of light coming into his room from the southeastern Kyoto. Immediately, he sent his men there to investigate. What they found there was a wooden image of Amida.
They also found that it had belonged to Bukkoji Temple.
Emperor Godaigo was much moved by this incident and gave the institute a new name, "Amida Bukkoji (the light of Amida)" Temple.
Ryomyo and Shinni
Genran, the 8th Abbot, who succeeded Ryogen, passed away in the 13th year of his reign. Ryomyo, Genran's wife, was obliged to become the 9th Abbot. In an era more than 600 years ago, when women were severely discriminated against, a woman abbot was unheard of. But in establishing this Bukkoji institute , a teaching specifically expressed in The Book of Tannisho was fully embodied:
"Amida's Primal Vow does not discriminate between the young and old, good and evil; true entrusting alone is essential."
Bukkoji has been free of sexual discrimination since then. We have had several women abbots including Shinni, the 27th Abbot, who made a great effort to reconstruct Amida Hall, Daishi Hall and other important structures which had been burnt down earlier in a war during the Genji Era (1864).
Promoting the Teaching
In 1586, under orders from the Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Bukkoji was forced to move from Shirutani to the present location. Though we have suffered from many religious troubles, our teaching has been preserved. Our efforts to promote humane teaching have been met receptively. Our message is:
"Become a real human under the guiding light of the original power of Amida."
Be careful of human being
Bukkoji Buddhist Temple (Shin Buddhism)
Shinkai-cho Shimogyo-ku KYOTO-shi 600-8084 JAPAN
TEL. 075-341-3321 / FAX. 075-341-3120