Heigenji monastery [nunnery?], (in) Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, JP

Raw data

Heiganji is located on the coastline of the Musashi plain. According to its founding legend, the temple's name derives in part from a wooden sculpture of Kôbô Daishi (the posthumous name of Shingon founder Kukai). The sculpture’s donor, a warrior-turned-fisherman Hirama Kanenori, apparently fished it out of the sea in a net, after being visited by Kukai in a dream. Hirama believed that the sculpture possessed the power to protect him from the bad luck that is popularly thought to afflict 42-year-old men.

The Shingon monk Sonken learned about the image while traveling from Kôyasan, and decided in 1128 [1127] to construct a temple at nearby Kawasaki. He named it Heigenji after the Chinese reading of Hirama's name. It became the head temple of the Chisan school of the Shingon sect.

- Uryû (2006: 222)
- “Kawasaki Daishi no rekishi” http://www.kawasakidaishi.com/about/history.html#top
- “History: About Kouboudaishi” http://www.kawasakidaishi.com/english/index.html

Although pilgrims were drawn to Heiganji’s reputation for warding off evil, the temple remained small until the Tokugawa period (1600–1868). The Tokugawa Shogunate had established its capital at Edo (Tokyo), relatively close to Kawasaki, which now began to benefit from trade routes to Edo. Members of the house of the Tokugawa shoguns began to patronize Heigenji in the mid-18th century.

Currently, the temple precincts occupies an area of 33,000 square meters, and houses 19 buildings reconstructed in the 20th century. One of the cloisters, Kasawaradera, conducts training for nuns.

- “Kawasaki Daishi a.k.a. Heikenji” http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~qm9t-kndu/heikenji.htm
- “Betsuin shôkai” http://www.kawasakidaishi.com/about/ryuugen.html

The main object of worship is Kôbô Daishi (Kûkai).
- Tamamuro (1992: 742)

Input by: Lizbeth H. Piel, Oct 17, 2010

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 15 Apr 2013

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 Heigenji monastery/nunnery?, JP.

General location of the Heigenji monastery, JP.
Lat 35.533719 Long 139.729507
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2010.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Heigenji平間寺. Alternative English spelling: Heigen-ji

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Japan: Kanagawa Prefecture

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 35.533719 Long 139.729507, based on the visual identification of the monastery in maps, maps.google.com - tmciolek, 26 Oct 2010.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

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

  • Kawasaki-shi (Kawasaki City), Kawasaki-ku, Daishi-chô

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: Chisan

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag 0110-32c - tmciolek 15 Apr 2013
  • 1110-32c 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-ex

12. Date-intermediate

  • MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 15 Apr 2013

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • Part of Koyasan’s network of Shingon temples

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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