Kitain monastery, (in) Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture, JP

Raw data

Founded by Ennin in 830 by order of Emperor Junna, Muryôjudera monastery consisted of three cloisters (Kita’in, Chû’in and Minami’in), but was devastated by a fire in 1205.

Under Abbot Sonkai, the monastery became the Tendai Buddhist center of the Kantô region with authority over 580 temples by order of Emperor Go-Fushimi in 1296. It was destroyed in 1537 during the warring states period. Under the patronage of the Tokugawa clan in the late 1600s, the surviving Kita’in received 500 koku of landed estates.

The architecture, which dates to the Edo period (1600–1868), has been designated as an Important Cultural Treasure. Kita’in is known for an illustrated manuscript (Shihon chakushoku shokunin tzukushi-e) and a famous set of stone carvings of “the 500 arhats.” The main object of worship is Amida Nyôrai (Amitâbha).

- “Kita’in”喜多院
- “Kita’in rekishi: kenchiku to henyô”
- Uryû (2003: 219)

Input by: Lizbeth H. Piel, Dec 14, 2010

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 31 Aug 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 Kitain monastery, JP.

General location of the Kitain monastery, JP.
Lat 35.917442 Long 139.48906
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2010.

Google Map link:,%20JP)&ll=35.917442,139.48906&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Kita’in 喜多院. Alternative English spelling: Kitain

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Japan:Saitama-ken

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 35.917442 Long 139.48906 - based on the identification of the site in - tmciolek, 15 Dec 2010.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

  • [missing data]

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

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

  • Tendai - Uryû (2003: 219)

11. Date-early

  • 830 - Uryû (2003: 219)

MBM chrono-tag 0800-32c - tmciolek 31 Aug 2013
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

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • Edo/Tokugawa period (1600–1868)

MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 31 Aug 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • The monastery became the Tendai Buddhist center of the Kantô region with authority over 580 temples - “Kita’in”喜多院

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

  • [missing data]

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