Shôjôji monastery, (in) Yugawa, Fukushima Prefecture, JP

Raw data

Shôjôji was founded in 810 in the plain of Aizu by the Hossô monk Tokuitsu, best known for his doctrinal dispute with Saichô, founder of the Tendai sect.

In the medieval period, it came to control over 100 subtemples, and exerted a strong influence over Aizu and the Buddhism of the northeastern provinces. Its power declined in the Warring States period of the 16th century, but even today it possesses important sculptures and halls. The main object of worship, a sitting Yakushi Buddha (Bhaisajyaguru) called Aizu no chûô Yakushi, is a national treasure, considered a particularly fine example of early Heian Buddhist art.

- Uryû (2003: 216-7)

Shôjôji was probably founded by Tokuitsu, who also founded Enichi and Tsukubasan, and many others. Tokuitsu’s dispute with Saichô represents a defense of Nara Buddhism, which was in decline relative to the new Tendai sect. Shôjôji began as a seven-structure temple compound, but many buildings were apparently added. It became a Shingon establishment in the Kamakura period (1185–1333). In the Edo period (1600–1868), it was a subtemple of Ninnaji. The oldest surviving building is the Yakushidô, which dates to the Muromachi period (16th century). The others date to the Edo period.

- “Shôjôji”勝常寺

Input by: Lizbeth H. Piel, Aug 31, 2010

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 17 Jul 2014

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 Shojoji monastery, JP.

General location of the Shojoji monastery, JP.
Lat 37.563498 Long 139.870120
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2010.

Google Map link:,%20JP)&ll=37.563498,139.870120&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Shôjôji 勝常寺. Alternative English spelling: Shôjô-ji, Shojoji

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Japan: Fukushima Prefecture

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 37.563498 Long 139.870120 - based on the visual identification of the monastery in maps, - tmciolek, 1 Sep 2010.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

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

  • Kawanuma-gun, Yugawa-mura, Shôjô

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 37.5647 Long 139.8877 - based on the visual identification of the village in maps, - tmciolek, 1 Sep 2010.

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • Shingon sect: Buzan school

11. Date-early

MBM chrono-tag 0800-32c - tmciolek 17 Jul 2014
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

MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 17 Jul 2014

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • There is a link with Enichiji through Tokuitsu

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Documents, artifacts

16. Additional notes

  • In the medieval period, it came to control over 100 subtemples - Uryû (2003: 217)

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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