Unexpected story for the sacred place “Kōyasan” of Shingon Buddhism


By the way, the unexpected story arouses interest.

The spread ground is appeared suddenly on mountain of height above 900m.

It is Buddhist city in the sky “Koyasan” !

01 Koyasan↑Temple town of Koyasan

02 Koyasan_Danjo-Garan↑Koyasan_Danjo-Garan

An unexpected story get mixed also in here.

The basin where 6 km east-west and north-south about 3 km is surrounded by peaks of 8 leaves. The 8 leaves symbolize petals of lotus flower, so the terrain is expressed “As lotus flower opens”.

It became 1200th in 2015 since Kobo-Daish Kukai opened an exercise hall of Shingon Buddhism in this place.

Indeed it is the sacred place of Shingon Buddhism, so there are a lot of Buddhism facilities.

I will briefly introduce for main facilities in below.

Daimon (Main big gate) : There is in entrance of Koyasan. It’s huge gate worthy of the name.

03 Koyasan_DaimonChumo (Middle gate) : It’s the newest gate in Koyasan that was rebuilt in 2015 as 1200th anniversary of opening of Koyasan for the first time in 172 years.

04 Koyasan_ChumonKonpon-Daito (Fundamental Pagoda) : It was built as an exercise hall of Shingon Buddhism. The height is 48.5m.

05 Koyasan_Konpon-DaitoKondo (Main hall) : Kondo has performed important role. Koun Takamura who is famous carver in Japan carved Bhaisajyaguru of the principal image.

06 Koyasan_KondoFudo-do: It’s the oldest building in Koyasan.

07 Koyasan_Fudo-doKongobuji Temple : It’s head temple of 3600 branches and 10 million believers for Shingon Buddhism.

08 Koyasan_Kongobuji TempleTokugawa Mausoleum : It’s enshrines for Ieyasu Tokugawa and Hidetada Tokugawa who are 1st and 2nd shogun of Tokugawa regime.

09 Koyasan_Tokugawa MausoleumBy the way, regarding Shingon Buddhism, it is called also Himitsu-shu, it is based on Esoteric Buddhism that Kukai learned in Chang’an of Tang dynasty (present China).

Do you know an old monument that was excavated in Chang’an and has been kept in Beilin Museum now?

This monument was made in Tang dynasty period, and “大秦景教流行中国碑“ is carved on.

“大秦” means Rome, and “景教” means Nestorianism that is one of old Christian denominations. So, “大秦景教流行中国碑“ is translated as “Praise monument Christianity of Rome was fashionable in Tang dynasty (China)”.

Consequently, the monument is said “Nestorian monument”.

Hence, it follows that Kukai spent in China during the period when Christianity was prevalent in China.

And it seems that Kukai also learned Christianity and brought it to Japan!

When we pay attention to the content of Shingon Esoteric Buddhism that was advocated by Kukai, it seems that it is clearly different from Buddhism. In short, it seems that it is as plain as daylight that the influence of景教(Christianity)is appeared.

The mausoleum of Kukai is in the inner shrine that is central the sacred place of Koyasan.

10 Koyasan_Okuno-in↑Koyasan_Okuno-in

Around 200,000 of tombstones and memorial service monuments line on along the approach to there. High Japanese cedars surround the area, and the atmosphere is mysterious and solemn.

11 Koyasan_Okuno-in↑Approach to Koyasan_Okuno-in

The tombstones and memorial service monuments include for famous Japanese people

There is a monument in there that is not suitable.

Surprisingly, “大秦景教流行中国碑” is carved in the monument!

12 Koyasan_Okuno-in_Nestorian monumentSo, it is a replica of Nestorian monument kept in Beilin Museum!

13 Koyasan_Okuno-in_Nestorian monument↑Nestorian monument

It was built by Mrs Elizabeth.A.Gordon who studied under Mr. Max Müller (Max Müller was a German philosopher and influential post-World War II Catholic intellectual) after working as a lady of the court of Queen Victoria.

Mrs. Gordon loved Japanese culture and studied for Buddhism during long stay in Japan. Her subject of study was “Bukki Ichigen”. The meaning is origin of Buddhism and Christianity is same.

It might not be able to believe readily, but also scholars except Mrs. Gordon also refer to connection between Buddhism and Christianity.

I was able to listen to sermon when I visited Kongobui Temple.

I have left an impression with phrase “The element to be respected is 20% ability and 80% personality”.

I interpreted that personality that can listen to people’s talking without being conceited own abilities is element to be respected.

Regarding also connection between Buddhism and Christianity, it might be important not to enter from negation but to see it from a neutral perspective. The accumulations will connect to respect. Don’t you think so?

<Japanese WEB site>




Koyasan, Koya-cho, Ito, Wakayama, Japan

Post code: 648-0294