Senso-ji, Asakusa Kannon Temple

senso-ji, asakusa kannon temple
senso-ji, asakusa kannon temple
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Senso-Ji

 

On March 18, 628, on a bright early morning, at the time when Japanís capital was Asuka (known today as the Nara Prefecture), two brothers who were fishermen, Takenari and Hinokuma Hamanari, were in the Sumida River, fishing. Sensing that something was happening, they hoisted their net up to discover a Bodhisattva Kannon statue.

Upon hearing of this discovery, Asakusaís village headman, Haji no Nakatomo, instantly knew that the statue was that of an important Buddhist deity. He immediately took on Buddhist priest vows and reconstructed his home into a shrine and dedicated the rest of his life to the service of the Bodhisattva Kannon.

Seventeen years later, a famous Buddhist priest named Shokai Shonin put up the Kannondo Hall after visiting the district of Asakusa during his wanderings. Obeying a vision he got in a dream, he declared that the statue should be concealed from human eyes, and this has always been the way since then.

At the time when the shoguns were the most influential force in the country in the era of Kamakura (from 1192 to 1333), these great warriors were highly devoted to the Senso-ji. Eventually, other prominent historically figures including the literati and other commanders of the military came to worship as they did.

The oldest temple in Tokyo, the Senso-ji is known affectionately to the Japanese people as the Asakusa Kannon temple and it is visited by over 30 million people each year. It still remains today as an important place of worship.