Murō-ji

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The five-storied pagoda of Murō-ji

Murō-ji (室生寺?) is a temple of Omoto school of Shingon Buddhism, located in the city of Uda, Nara, Japan.

Murō-ji shows its typical aspect of Shingon Buddhism, with its buildings laid on the mountainside of Mount Murō (室生山 Murō-yama?).

Unlike many temples of the time, Murō-ji was opened to females. For that reason, the temple is also called Mount Kōya for women.

Overview[edit]

While legend has it that the temple was opened by En no Gyōja by order of Emperor Temmu, later restored by Kūkai, an extant record kept by the temple, Murō-ji ryaku engi (室生寺略縁起?), tells that a successful ritual in respect of a ryūjin to cure Prince Yamabe's (later to become Emperor Kammu made the imperial court order a monk of Kōfuku-ji named Kenkyō (賢璟?) to construct a temple on the site. The construction of the temple was taken over by a pupil monk Shūen (修円?), after Kenkyō's death in 793.

Among the buildings that remain from the ninth century is the five-storied pagoda, which is the smallest of the kind standing in the open air. The pagoda suffered major damage in a 1998 typhoon, when a falling tree struck it. It was restored over the following two years.

In Edo period, the temple buildings were repaired by donation of Keishō-in, mother of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi.

About a kilometer east of the temple is located Ryūketsu Shrine, enshrining the ryūjin.

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Coordinates: 34°32′16.39″N 136°2′26.22″E / 34.5378861°N 136.0406167°E / 34.5378861; 136.0406167