Sakatadera monastery [nunnery?], (near) Asuka, Nara Prefecture, JP

Raw data

Sakatadera was the family temple (ujidera) of the Kuratsukuri clan, whose founder Tachihito reportedly immigrated from Korea to Japan in 522, and was related to the Soga clan. Archeologists have found tiles dating to the early 7th century, as well as a couple of corridors and parts of the foundation stones of a hall. It appears that a landslide in the late 10th century destroyed the temple.

The Nihon Shôki (720) gives a pledge date of 587. Kuratsukuri-no-Tasuna promised to build a temple with a large Buddha for Emperor Yomei, who was gravely ill. Other sources say that Tasuna’s son, Tori, was the one who built “Kongôji” on the family property in what is now Takaichi-gun’s Asuka Village. Tori was a member of the Saddlers’ Guild (kuratsukuri-be), and was skilled at making bronze ornaments for saddles. He applied his skills to the construction of a jorokubutsu (“six-jo Buddha”), a bronze Buddha that is 16 feet (or 5 meters) tall. He is also credited with the famous Shaka Triad at Hôryûji.

The Nihon Shôki (720) mentions that in 686 the Musha-daie ritual assembly was performed at Kongôji for Emperor Tenmu. It also mentions the activities of a nun Shinshô, which leads scholars to assume that Sakatadera was a nunnery.

-“Sakatadera (Kongoji).
-“Sakatadera no ato no chôsa.”
-“Kuratsukuri Tori,” Encyclopedia Britannica.

Src: JPN

Input by: Lizbeth H. Piel, Feb 21, 2010

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 30 Sep 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 20 km from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Sakatadera monastery, JP.

General location of the Sakatadera monastery, JP.
Lat 34.4667 Long 135.8167
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2009.

Google Map link:,%20JP)&ll=34.4667,135.8167&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Sakatadera 坂田寺. Alternative English spelling: Sakata-dera, Kongoji

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Japan: Nara Prefecture

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • Kongôji

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

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

  • Takaichi-gun, Asuka-mura (Asuka Village), Iwaido

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

  • Sakata-gun or Sakata-hara in Ômi no kuni

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

MBM chrono-tag 0567-99c - tmciolek 30 Sep 2013
0567-99c 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99p dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • Remains have been dated to the early 7th century

13. Date-late

  • It appears that a landslide in the late 10th century destroyed the temple.

MBM chrono-tag 0967-99p - tmciolek 30 Sep 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Documents, archaeological

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data]

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

  • [missing data]

18. Known monks and nuns associated with this monastery

19. Available Printed Literature

  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 1]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 2]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

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