Founded by Eitaku Genkei (1622-93). Zen priest of the early Edo period who became a monk at age 17, and after undertaking severe practices, founded a new Zen Buddhist philosophy, unknown in India and China, called “Unborn Zen” (Fusho Zen). Until his death, he traveled around Edo, Shikoku and Kyushu, preaching. He revived 47 abandoned temples, founded 150 new ones, and initiated more than 400 monks and more than 50,000 lay disciples.
He became abbot of Myoshinji in 1671, and later was given the titles “Zenshi” and “Kokushi”. He was also known as the eastern Hakuin and the western Bankei, and people knew him affectionately as “Bankei-san”.
Ryumonji is one of the few Zen temples in Harima, built as the base temple for Benkei Kokushi in 1661. The main temple building dates from the early to mid-Edo period, and even now looks just as it did in those times. The huge tea bowl tea ceremony is well-known, but the temple is chiefly known for the zazen sessions in which visitors from overseas also participate, lectures by Senior Grand Tutor Kano on the path of Zen, and other rituals that help to ease one’s spirit.
The temple houses a standing wooden image of the thousand-armed Kannon, a prefectural cultural property, 43 Kanō school fusuma paintings, and 103 items associated with Benkei Kokushi.
|Address||〒671-1242 812, Aboshikuhamada, Himeji-shi, Hyogo|