Zuiganji monastery, (in) Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, JP

Raw data

Zuiganji is one of the temples said to have been built by Ennin.
Located on the coastline of Miyagi Prefecture, it flourished in the Edo Period (1600–1868) as part of a network of Zen temples centered on Bodaiji, the clan temple of the Date family. The main object of worship is the Shôkannon bodhisattva (Aryavalokitesvara).

- Uryû (2003: 215–6)

On the order of Emperor Junna, Ennin and 3000 followers built the monastery in 828, and called it Empukuji, hoping to match Enryakuji (Hieizan) in size and prestige. It received the support of the Fujiwara family at Hiraizumi.

With the fall of the Fujiwara, it received patronage from Hôjô Masako, wife of the Shogun Minamoto Yoritomo. In the Kamakura period (1185–1333), it became a Zen temple, and enjoyed prosperity until the Warring States period.

Zuiganji was restored by Date Masamune, lord of Sendai. The reconstruction lasted from 1604 to 1609. Zuiganji acquired over 90 branch temples. Today, what remains of the Edo-period architecture is the main hall, granary, and roofed walls with three gates, designated as Important Cultural Treasures.

- “Zuiganji no enkaku/ Zuiganji history” http://www.zuiganji.or.jp/html/enkaku.html

Zuiganji has a number of caves built in the Kamakura period used to house funerary ashes.

- “Zuigan-ji” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zuigan-ji

Input by: Lizbeth H. Piel, Aug 28, 2010

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 31 Jan 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 Zuiganji monastery, JP.

General location of the Zuiganji monastery, JP.
Lat 38.372178 Long 141.059597
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2010.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Zuiganji 瑞巌寺. Alternative English spelling: Zuigan-ji

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Japan: Miyagi Prefecture

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

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; Rinzai Zen

11. Date-early

  • 828 - Uryû (2003: 216)

MBM chrono-tag 0800-32c - tmciolek 31 Jan 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

  • Kamakura period (1185–1333) - Uryû (2003: 216)

13. Date-late

MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 31 Jan 2014

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Documents, artifacts

16. Additional notes

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

  • [missing data]

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