Visiting explanation fo chief priest

The National Treasure Koukouzan Zuiryu-ji Temple was built over 18years by Toshitune, the

3rd head of the Kaga clan, to mourn the 2ndhead of the Kaga clan,Toshinaga.

宗派は禅宗の曹洞宗です。The sect is Soto sect of Zen Buddhism.


The Maeda family was originally from Owari, just like Nobunaga Oda and Hideyoshi Toyotomi.


The first head Maeda Toshiie was dispatched to what is now Echizen Takefu to suppress the Hokuriku Ikkou sect by Nobunaga’s orders
At that time, he learned zazen from Daito Keijo Osyo of the Soto sect, and protected tha Soto sect which was a rival sect of the ikkou sect.

The first gate of Zuiryu-ji Temple is the main gate, which is a Yakui-mon
style like castle gate of

gate of castle or a samurai residense
The almost identical building is the red gate of the University of tokyo
located in Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo.
The site of the University of Tokyo was originally the residennse of the Kaga clan.
The Maeda family had received a wife from the Tokugawa family for generations, so it seemed the gate was painted red.
The Kaga clan is the top foreigner, moredemandingof the kokudaka than the head of the fudai daimyo.

The Kaga clan was a feudal lord with 1.2million koku

In addition, the Kaga Domain focused not only on its military strength as a samurai family, but also on its cultural development and economystrength.




Therefore, the Kaga clan was always watched by the Tokugawa Shogunate.
The center of the Kaga clan was Kanazawa. but there were meny spiesfrom Tokugawa.Maeda family made Kanazawa cultural town.
And, made military and industrial zone in remote Etchu.

To the south area of Takaoka was one ofthe largest grainbelts of the Kaga clan,
And located the gassyo village of Gokayama deep in the mounntains produced
potassiumnitrate one ofraw materials for gunpowder,and the quality was the best of Japan.

In the eastem part of Etchu,mines at the foot the3000-meter-class Tateyama mountain
Range rises, and at lot of gold and silver.
At that time, Haifuki method was used lead was essentialrefine gold silver.

In Etchu, there was Nagato lead mine in Ikenoyama on the border of
Gifu Prefecture and Toyama Prefecture.

Around 1644 to 1666, the price of lead plummeted and Zuiryu-ji Temple was thatched with a lead roof.

During the Meiji period, Mitsui Mining Co.Ltd. operated the mine in Kamioka, but the mine was closed due to cadmium pollution.
However,1000meters below Ikenoyama, the University of Tokyo is still using the remains of a mine as a research facility for elementary
Particles called Super-Kamiokande.
Lead was also used in the refinining of gold and slver,and in bullet powder
The gold, silver and lead mines were important mines that supported the finances of the Kaga clan.

In addition, due to the abundant snowmelt water, the alluvial fan of the Toyama plain spreads out into a vast breadbasket.
The Maeda family had several casles in Etchu, including Takaoka casle,
But they were abandoned due to the One Castle Ordinance.
Therefore, it is said that Zuiryu-ji Temple was built instead of Takaoka casle.

Zuiryu-ji Temple is arranged in seven halls that resemble the human body,
And the building is surrouned by corridors.
On both sides of the Sanmongate, the corridor stretched out and the bathroom and toilet would have protruded in front, but they were burned down 250 years ago.

The Sanmon Gate is 18meters high, and the crowned Buddha and
16 arhats are enshrined in the tower, Kongourikishi sutatues guard the temple on both sides of this gate.


If you stand on the stone pavement in front of the temple gate, the entrance become a borrow scenery, and the Buddhist hall is cut out.

On the framed plaque on the temple gate, Obaku Ingen writes Koukouzan
Zuiryu-ji Temple belongs to Soto sect, and Ingen belongs to the Obaku sect
They are essentially different denominations.

Before Tokogawa shogunnate, Zen Buddhist monks,like Eisai and Dogen Zenji, were allowed totravel to China to learn Buddhism, but they were not permitted by the shogunate due to national isolation,Sakoku.
Therefore Obaku Ingen, who defected from China to Japan with the help of overseas
Chinese and Rinzai priests was welcomed..
Moreover, the items that Ingen brought had a great influence on Japan.
有名なのはインゲン豆 普茶料理ですが、僧侶の垂涎の的だったのは行事規範やお経の本でした。
The most famous things he brought with him were kidney beans and fuchsia dishes,but what the monks coveted were the rules of conduct and sutras
In particular, the book of sutras was printed in woodblocks in Osaka by a monk named Tetsugen, and it was sold domestically as a general-purpose edition in japan.

At that time, the shogunate had just started theTerauke system.
The monks who used to make pilgrimages to various places settled in vacant temples in villaeges,and issued temple approval certificates, and the temple approval certificates, and the temples began to act as a government offices.
That’s why living here became a job, and the word "juusyoku" was born.
However there was a possibility that the Soto sect would be taken over by the Obaku sect , so they gradually became estaranged.
The corridor of Zuiryu-ji Temple is about 95meters long and 59meters
wide, and the ratio is almost the golden ratio.

The Buddha Hall designeted as a national treasure enshrines the principale image of Buddha, ShakaNyoraidesigneted.


The red grain of zelkoova is used on the wall behind the principal image,and the grain of the wood looks like cloud in the evening.


It is said that the back of the principal image represents the west and Tenjiku because the principal image of Buddha,founded Budhism in India, and it was transmitted to Japan throught China and korea.

It is Zen Buddhism style made entirely of zelkova. The upper rafters are radial rafters and the Chinese-style lower rafters are parallel rafters , an ancient Japanese

THe main pillars of the Buddha Hall were 600-years-old tree cut in Noto.

The zelkova is a broad-leaved tree that branches quickly, and is aviolent tree that will crack or wither if left untreated for certain amount of time.
On the other hand,the grain of zerukova wood is beautiful and suitable for experted.
This building is a combination of the properties of wood.
The Japanese maintain forests, cut them down and then plant trees to secure the timber they need in the future.

Tree in the mountains absorb carbon dioxide through photosynthesis,
Which act as adete
Nitrogre,phosphorus and potassium from the fourest flow into the rever
Together with the soil.
The water irrigate the paddy fields, resulting in beautiful harvest, and when it flows into the sea ,phytoplankton increases which feeds on the fish that grow and lead to a bountiful catch.

Japan has cultivated it for many years, And the idea of recycling nature and Human being is now popular all over the worldand it is in line with the SDGs

The building at the far end of Zuiryu-ji Temple is the Hatto.
The room is divided into 6 section.
In the transom of the front inner sanctuary, a phoenix and paulownia are carved from the origin of Takaoka’s name.
A huge mortuary tablet of lord Tosinaga Maeda is enshrined in the center of the inner sanctuary of the Hatto
His post humous name is Zuiryu-inden Syouzan Eiken Daikoji

The size of the mortuary tablet is about 210cm.
Japanese Buddhism considers ancestor to be object of worship, but at this point ,it makes more sense to think of them as objects of worship rather than memorial services

Why did Toshitsune want to enshrine Toshinaga?
Toshinaga married to Nobunaga Oda’s fouth daughter, with Eihime.
But no heir was born.
Toshituune was born to Toshiie and his concubine Chiyo.

Therefore even though Toshitsune was not in a position to succeed the Kaga domain,Toshinaga chose him. He probablywantedto repay the favor.
However, there might be another reason for Tositsune’s reverence for Toshinaga.
The Maeda family of the Kaga clan is said to be a descendant of Sugawara no Mitizane。
Michizane rose to the rank of Udaijin (Minister of the Right), but when he asked the influential Fujiwara clan at the time to abolish envoys demoted to Dazaifu, where he died.

Toshinaga passed away sixmonths before the Winter Siege in Osaka
After Toshiie died, Toshinaga suspected of rebellion by the Tokugawa,
He took Toshiie’s lawful wife Matsu as a hostage and retire to Takaoka,
Where he died. 53years old.

As accustom from ancient times in Japan , especially in the case of an unnaturaldeath, when a memorial service is held, it is enshrined as a spirit.


Perhaps Toshitune wanted to enshrine Lord Tosinaga as the god whoprotects Takaoka


However,in the Edo period, Ieyasu was ensyurined at Nikko Toshogu Shrine by the Tokugawa, and it may have been difficult for sach daimyo to be enshrined in the same line.
This may be the reason why the shrine of each daimyo were built in the Meiji period.

On the right side of the hall Hatto enshrines Ususama Myouou the guardian deity of toilets.
Since the tosu was destroyed in a fire 250years ago, it is temporarily enshrined in the hall Hatto.

Ususama Myouou is said to have originated from the Indian god Agni,
And has the power to burn away all impurities with fire.
It is said that if you visit the shrine, all impurities will be burned into your body, you will be cured of your underlying illness, and you will be able to give birth safely