The temple deeply related to Jakuchu which makes you feel visiting every season.
Text : Wakako Sato / Photo : Takashi Oka
There is Hozo-ji Temple on Uraderamachi-dori which is a refined street located one step east from Shinkyogoku and it is the Seizan-Fukakusa school of the Jodo sect praying for Amithaba same as Seigan-ji Temple. It was built in 1269 and moved here Uraderamachi 422 years ago.
Nishiki market is very close from Hozo-ji Temple. Speaking of Nishiki market, Jakuchu Ito, who was very successful painter in the mid Edo period, has his home in Nishiki market, a vegetable wholesaler called ‘Masuya’. ‘Jukachoju-zu Byobu’ painted like a tile and ‘Hechima Gunchu-zu’ with a beautiful sponge cucumber’s vine are his famous masterpiece and still very popular in these days. Inside of the temple, there is a tombstone built by Jakuchu for his parents and his youngest brother. This temple has ‘Dokuro-zu’, white skulls standing out in a black background and ‘Takeni Yukei-zu’, lively rooster painted in the picture.
From a relationship with Jakuchu, apart from Amitabha stamp, they will give you ‘Jakuchu stamp’ which has letters of ‘Jakuchu’ with ‘Dokuro-zu’ stamp on Washi paper. A chief monk says, “When I made this first time, it was a suggestion by a fan of Jakuchu asking me why don’t I start making something pink color stuff for the Doll’s Festival”. After this, it became much more poplar and started receiving so many calls asking, “What is the next color after this pink one?”. In order to response their demands, they prepared fresh green and celadon green for May and June, cyan and royal blue for July and August, and Marigold and topaz for September, October and November. Now people wonder what is the next one already.
The chief monk thought it was too much for the first time, but he also thought, ‘Whoever come here to pick up these stamps, they all have smiles. They look so happy to have this stamp. Their smile motivates my feeling to make more again”. So that, he finally made Goshuin-cho (stamp note) as well.
He also adds, “If these items become an opportunity to come here, then it is awesome. Also people who come here to pick this up, they are all polite and have a great manner. They pray for Amitabha and also buy our regular stamp as well”.
Absolutely, I also bought Amitabha stamp note. One of the attractiveness of Goshuin stamps is that they are all hand-written. Since there are hearts of writer in each stamp so that it doesn’t matter if some of the stamps are from the same buddha.
ADDRESS : 587 Uradera-cho, Uradera-cho Takoyakushi-agaru, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto City.
PHONE : +81(0)75-221-2076
HOURS : No public entry : You can visit and pray for the tombstone of Jakuchu’s family. Goshuin stamp and Skull memorial stamp are available between 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
WEBSITE : http://www.houzou-ji.jp/
★Next TRAVEL IDEA spot of ‘Goshuin and Sho - to explore the beauty of a Japanese characters’ by Rumiko Kunitomi is ‘Tenkokuya KuKu’