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the Shijoko Nyorai Mandala


Since it was built, at the end of the Heian period, the Shorenin temple has been dedicated to the Shijoko Nyorai. As a result of many fires and wars, the mandala today is a replicate that was offered by Shogun Toyotomi Hideyoshi in the Momoyama period approximately 400 years ago.
The Shorenin temple is the only temple in Japan that is dedicated to the Shijoko Nyorai.
The mandala is a hanging scroll of about two square meters with the Sanskrit character "Boron"at its center, representing the Shijoko Buddha.

Depicted at the center of the mandala is the head of the Dainichi Nyorai (the most popular among the noble group of Buddha heads); it is known to disseminate great wisdom and light.
The Golden Wheel, Ichiji-kinrin-Bucho, is depicted above the Shijoko Nyorai and is followed by the Kanjizai, the Kongoshu, the Bigutei, the red Butsugen Butsumo, the Fushigi-doji, the Monju, and the Kyugosei Buddha, in a clockwise direction. Further, they are surrounded by eight moon circles that represent the power of the Shijoko Nyorai.

The following four myo-o are located at the four corners of the mandala:
(1) Kongo Yasha in the upper right-hand corner, (2) Gozanze myo-o in the lower right-hand corner, (3) Gundari myo-o in the lower left-hand corner, and (4) Dai-Itoku myo-o in the upper left-hand corner.
Fudo myo-o overlaps the Shijoko Nyorai at the center.

The background of the mandala is painted with a rare expensive pigment known as Gunjo, meaning ultramarine, depicting the Kokuu (the void) of a vast space.
As a result of extensive damages, in 2005, it was restored to a great extent prior to the exhibition. However, the coloring could not be restored completely. Nevertheless, it still reflects and maintains the beauty of the magnificent original coloring.

About Shijoko-do


The official ceremony held to celebrate the Shijoko Nyorai mandala is known as Shijoko-ho Daiho.
This event was first held by Ennin in 850 AD to pray for the security of the nation. It is one of the most important events of the Tendai sect.
The following are three invocations of this event.

  • For the remission of natural disasters and plague
  • For the peace and prosperity of Japan
  • For peaceful security of the Emperors°« reign and prevention against enemy aggression from outside

Shoren-in temple follows Tendai Tantrism and worships the Shijoko Nyorai.
Designated by the imperial court, the priests at the temple have intermittently performed the role of peace-making and ensured the security of the Emperor and his country, particularly from the Heian to Kamakura periods.Till date, this role has been performed successfully. Today the ceremony, known as Mishiho, is held every year in April at the Hieizan Enryakuji temple; the ceremony held once every four years is known as Daiho.

However, at the Shorenin temple, we do not observe the events in the form of Daiho; instead, we hold Shushoue on the first day of every new year and Shijoko-bo in the Autumn Buddhist Service in October.
Further, we offer the abovementioned three invocations and the prayers of achievement for visitors in the Autumn Buddhist Service. Please feel free to join us.

Dates for the autumn Buddhist Service

The service begins at 12.00 on the first Sunday of October every year ( October 7, this year).

Statue of the Shijoko Nyorai


The Shijoko Nyorai, to which Shoren-in temple is dedicated, is a hanging scroll that is never exhibited to the public. It was exhibited for the first and last time in 2005. Therefore, there was little opportunity for most of the people to actually view it and pray in front of it.

In autumn 2006, Omaetachi-zo,a statue in front of the Shijoko Nyorai, made of genuine jade and platinum was offered by a volunteer. It was placed in front of the feretory, within which the Shijoko Buddha mandala is secured.
When praying, bring your palms together and chant the following: °»Boron, boron, boron...°…

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