top of page

Did you know that Zenkoku-ji (Bishamonten) in Kagurazaka was founded by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu?

Updated: Jun 1


Did you know that Zenkoku-ji (Bishamonten) in Kagurazaka was founded by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu?

Zenkoku-ji (Bishamonten) in Kagurazaka: Founded by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu


An important temple for the development of Kagurazaka is Zenkoku-ji (Bishamonten), which remains a symbolic presence in the area even today. In 1595, Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo shogunate, established the Zenkoku-ji (Bishamonten) temple in Nihonbashi Bakurocho, which is historically linked to Kagurazaka. He dedicated the temple and mountain name plaques of "Chingosan Zenkoku-ji" to protect the nation.


Did you know that Zenkoku-ji (Bishamonten) in Kagurazaka was founded by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu?

After its destruction by fire in 1670, Zenkoku-ji was rebuilt in Kojimachi by the famous Tokugawa Mitsukuni (grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu), also known for creating the vast Koishikawa Korakuen Garden within the Mito clan residence. This extensive garden served as a refuge from Kagurazaka.


In 1792, following another fire, Zenkoku-ji relocated to Kagurazaka. Initially surrounded by samurai residences, the area gradually developed as various shops moved from Kojimachi to Kagurazaka, along with increasing residential houses, marking the beginning of its development.


Did you know that Zenkoku-ji (Bishamonten) in Kagurazaka was founded by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu?

Why Does Zenkoku-ji Have Stone Tigers?


Flanking the main hall of Zenkoku-ji are pairs of guardian tiger statues akin to the Komainu (guardian dogs) found in shrines. This is because the temple venerates Bishamonten, with tigers considered as his messengers. Due to these shrine-like stone tigers and the temple's vivid orange color, unique to Nichiren Buddhism, Zenkoku-ji is sometimes mistaken for a shrine. Additionally, the temple grounds host "Shusse Inari Shrine," which demonstrates the syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism (神仏習合) found here.


Who Is Bishamonten?


Bishamonten, originating from India, is one of the Four Heavenly Kings, revered as a god of war, known also as "Tamonten." He is the protector of the northern direction. In Japan, he is worshipped as one of the Seven Lucky Gods, granting worldly benefits such as abundant crops, business prosperity, family safety, longevity, and success. Particularly from the Edo period onwards, he has been esteemed for his benefits in competitive endeavors.

Did you know that Zenkoku-ji (Bishamonten) in Kagurazaka was founded by Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu?

Kagurazaka Is theTokyo's First Yatai and Pedestrian-only Zone


As "Kagurazaka Bishamonten," the temple's influence grew significantly towards the end of the Edo period, drawing large crowds on its festival days. In 1887, Zenkoku-ji's festival day in Kagurazaka was notably the first instance in Tokyo where streets were closed to vehicular traffic, creating a pedestrian paradise (pedestrian-only zone), and it is said that the Yatai (first-night food carts) in Tokyo appeared during this festival.


With deep connections to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo shogunate, and his grandson Tokugawa Mitsukuni, why not visit Zenkoku-ji, where Tokyo's first Yatai and pedestrian-only zone were held? Be sure not to confuse it with a shrine, distinguished by its stone tigers and striking orange color.


Book Experience







How to Access Kagurazaka


The Kagurazaka area is conveniently located within 30 minutes from any major station in Tokyo. This is because Kagurazaka is situated in the heart of Tokyo, at the center of the Yamanote Line. Please come and visit this convenient and charming Kagurazaka.



Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page