Saturday, September 11, 2010
According to the temple legend, over 900 years ago, samurai Hirama Kanenori was exiled from his hometown Owari due to a false accusation. After wandering through many provinces he finally settled in Kawasaki as a humble fisherman.
In a dream the Buddhist priest, Kobo Daishi, asked to retrieve his image from the sea, the he had carved while in China and cast it to the sea. When Kanenori throw his net into the sea, he retrieved a wooden statue of Kobo Daishi so beautiful and with so extraordinary qualities, that Buddhist priest Sonken was moved to tears, when he saw it. In 1128, Sonken and Kanenori began construction a temple, which was the start of present day Kawasaki Daishi.
Heiken Ji, best known as Kawasaki Daishi is a Buddhist temple, dedicated to the Buddisth priest Kobo Daishi, in Kawasaki city in Kanagawa, is the third most popular temple for ‘hatsumode’ or first visit to the temple on new year.
Kawasaki daishi is now a large complex of temples and purifications areas, the main access is through the Main gate or dai-sanmon, and the Fudo gate.
The Main hall, Dai-Hondo was destroyed by the fire during the war and rebuilt in 1958, the image of Kobo Daishi was transferred here.
The Hakkaku Gojunoto or octagonal five-storied pagoda, completed in 1984 to commemorate the 1,150th anniversary of Kobo Daishi, stands next to the main hall.
Outside the temple grounds, the street is lined with shops selling souvenirs and Japanese sweets.