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Tentakuzan Ryokoji

Sect: Tofukuji school, Rinzai Zen

Founder: Kohaku Daisen; 240th abbot of Tofukuji, Kyoto, and 24th chief priest of Ryokoji in Suzuka, Mie Prefecture)

Founded in 1632; moved to present location in 1656

In the early 17th century, Priest Kohaku of Ryokoji temple in Ise (present-day Suzuka city, Mie prefecture) was invited by the third Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu, to visit Edo. Kohaku lectured on the Zen text Hekiganroku (Blue Cliff Record) at Konchiin temple in Shiba, which earned him instant acclaim. Before long, feudal lords and other well known figures became Buddhist adherents under his guidance. At first he lived in a small hut on a small plot of borrowed land nearby the home of the bakufu doctor, Ohashi Ryukei, with whom he was friendly, but later he was granted considerable land in Ushigome Yarai-shita. Here he constructed a temple, giving it the same name as his temple in Ise-Tentakuzan Ryokoji. It was originally conceived as a branch temple of Ryokoji in Ise.

Two important patron families of Ryokoji in Edo at that time were the Kyogoku and Ogasawara, whose mausolea were located here. In 1656, when the land was appropriated by the government, through the auspices of the feudal lord Sakai of Sanuki, the temple was granted 3,600 tsubo (one tsubo equals 3.31 square meters ) of land in Komagome village in Toshima district and was moved to its present location.

(From Ise Ryokoji shi)