Dômyôji nunnery, (in) Fujidera, Osaka Prefecture, JP

Raw data

The temple’s founding legend and Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami, a kabuki play of 1746, describes a connection between the minister Sugawara no Michizane (deified after death as Tenjin god of learning) and the Dômyôji convent where his aunt Kakuju served as abbess.

“Unfortunately the actual history of Dômyôji is difficult to reconstruct. A key problem is that today there are two institutions using the name “Dômyôji.” One is the Buddhist convent by that name; the other, a Shinto Shrine, Dômyôji Tenmangû, dedicated to Tenjin, the deified spirit of Michizane. This duplication is the result of the policy of the Meiji government, which insisted on separating Buddhism from Shinto. Previously, the two institutions had been one … . The convent, however, claims a much longer history, back to the time of Prince Shôtoku (576-622), Japan’s first imperial patron of Buddhism. In fact, material evidence — most notably an ancient image of the Bodhisattva Kannon — at both the present convent and the shrine points to a long history. Furthermore the old name of the village in which Dômyôji is located, Haji, points to an even more ancient tie to the Sugawara family. The ancestors of the Sugawara were known as the Haji family and prior to the introduction of Buddhism to Japan, they had been responsible for imperial funerals. Numerous old tombs are located near the village of Haji, adding additional support to the theory that Michizane’s ancestors had once lived there.”

‘ “Domyoji: Convents and the Cult of Tenjin” by Robert Borgen, http://www.columbia.edu/cu/ealac/imjs/programs/1998-fall/Abstracts/borgen.html

A site plan of Dômyôji (in Japanese): http://www.domyojitenmangu.com/grounds.shtml
List of Dômyôji's historical treasures (in Japanese): http://www.domyojitenmangu.com/treasure.shtml

Input by: Lizbeth H. Piel, August 04, 2012

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 16 Jan 2016

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Domyoji nunnery, JP.

General location of the Domyoji nunnery, JP.
lat=34.5688 long=135.6160
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2012.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Dômyôji 道明寺. Alternative English spelling: Domyoji, Dômyô-ji

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Japan: District of Osaka (equivalent to prefecture)

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • Rendosan - Uryû (2003: 239)
  • Hajidera - Uryû (2003: 239)

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 34.5688 Long 135.6160 - based on visual identification of the site in maps/satellite imagery, maps.google.com - tmciolek, 5 Aug 2012.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

  • Fujidera-shi (city), Dômyô

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • Shingon sect, Omuro sub-sect (and the Shinto Tenjin cult in the 11th century) - Uryû (2003: 239)

11. Date-early

  • Founded 594 by the ancestral family of Sugawara no Michizane - Uryû (2003: 239)
  • MBM chrono-tag: 0567-99c - tmciolek 16 Jan 2016
  • 0567-99c 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99c 1100-32c 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • 13th century – Dômyôji became a female-only institution

13. Date-late

  • MBM chrono-tag: 1200=> - tmciolek 16 Jan 2016

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Documents, architecture

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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