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Heiken-ji
Protects You Against Something Evil?
Date:17, Jul, 2020
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
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Get off at Kawasaki-daishi Station (Keikyu Line) in Kanagawa, walk through a shopping district for a few minutes, we reach to Heiken-ji Temple. They say it was built in 1128. It is famous as one of the head temples of the Shingon sect Chisan-ha. In their main hall, they have enshrined the principal object of St. Kobo (Kobo Daishi).

As you know, St. Kobo was alive in the 8th and 9th century. So he was not directly connected with the foundation. It was built by Hirama Kanenori who made his living by fishery. One day in his 40's, Kanenori pulled up his net from the ocean as always, found a wooden statue of St. Kobo caught in. By chance, a prelate Son-ken happened to be there and heard the fortunate story, founded the temple featuring St. Kobo in concert with him.



Heiken-ji's Main Hall

File: 川崎大師大本堂02.JPG
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on April 6, 2011)


Oh, how nice! Usually, we don't have such continuous accidents. Some might say the story must include some lies. I don't know. I was not there in 1128. It is all down to you no matter what you guess. Anyway, because of the miraculous story about the foundation, today the temple is so famous as a holy spot which protects the visitors against something evil. It is said they have 2 or 3 million visitors every New Year's day.

By the way, there is the Nakamise Street (Shopping Street) around the gate. And you can find some sell cough candies.



The Nakamise Street

File: Heikenji Temple Gate.JPG
from the Japanese Wikipedia
(Photoed on October 20, 2010)


There are over 50 monuments or monumental stones within the Heikei-ji. One of them is Shozuka-no Ba standing beside the exit gate (Nishi-gedatsu Mon). It is a small stone statue of an old woman. Shozuka means the Styx. And the old woman means Datsue-ba (old woman who tears away what the dead wear at the riverside). She is just like a regulatory official woman, measures how guilty the dead one is by weighing how heavy the clothes are. Weight of the clothing is weight of the guilt. However, old goddesses have been mostly worshiped as Cough Deities somehow in East of Japan. So they actively sell cough candies around the temple.






 

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