Ishiyamadera monastery [nunnery?], (in) Ôtsu, Shiga Prefecture, JP

Raw data

“The area where the temple is now was in fact a forestry and lumber collection and distribution centre for the express purpose of building the Todaiji Temple in Nara that housed the Great Buddha. The priest Roben Sōjō (689-773) was appointed as the superintendent of this project and was active in organising the necessary timber requirements for the project from a government office called “Ishiyama”. The gold that was found in the north of the country needed to travel many thousands of kilometers, and this office was also a collection point for the gold. From 761 until 767, this site was used for this purpose. Because Todaiji was a Kegon Buddhist temple, Ishiyamadera was also originally a Kegon temple, but as time went by, it became a Shingon Buddhist temple instead.”

“The location is also linked to the Nara era (710 - 794) Horanomiya Imperial Palace which was thought to have existed on or near this site.”

Ishiyama-dera's tahōtō (stupa/pagoda) dates to 1194 -ōtō

- “History of Ishiyamadera”

Input by: Lizbeth H. Piel, July 10, 2012

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 26 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 Ishiyamadera monastery, JP.

General location of the Ishiyamadera monastery, JP.
lat=34.960419 long=135.905625
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2012.

Google Map link:,%20JP)&ll=34.960419,135.905625&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Ishiyamadera 石山寺. Alternative English spelling: Ishiyama-dera

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Japan: Shiga Prefecture

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

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

  • Ôtsu-shi (city), Ishiyamadera

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

  • Formerly called Ishiyama-machi, the settlement became part of Ôtsu City in 1933 - Nihon chimei jiten (1998: 91)

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag: 0733-66c - tmciolek 26 Apr 2013
  • 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

13. Date-late

  • “The Raidō, which is the large multi-tiered structure extending over the hillside was completed in 1602, and is also heritage listed as a National Treasure” -
  • MBM chrono-tag: 1200=> - tmciolek 26 Apr 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Documents, architecture

16. Additional notes

  • Murasaki Shikibu is believed to have begun writing the Genji Monogatari (early 11th century) at Ishiyamadera.
  • Main object of worship is the Nyoirin (wish-granting) Kannon

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

  • [missing data]

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