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Zuigan-ji Matsushima 2006-09-24.JPG
Hondō (the main hall), a National Treasure
Mountain name Shōtō Seiryūzan
Denomination Zen, Rinzai sect, Myōshin-ji school
Venerated Shō Kannon Bosatsu
(Aarya Avalokitezvara)
Founded 828
Founder(s) Ennin
Address 91 Matsushima Chōnai, Matsushima-chō, Miyagi-gun, Miyagi Prefecture
Country Japan
Website http://www.zuiganji.or.jp/
In Japanese

Seiryuzan Zuigan-ji (青龍山 瑞巌寺 seiryuzan zuigan-ji?) is a famous Rinzai Zen Buddhist temple in Matsushima, Japan—of the Myoshin-ji branch.


The temple, commonly referred to as Zuigan-ji, was originally founded in 828 by Jikaku Daishi, but was rebuilt by the feudal lord Date Masamune from 1604 onwards using lumber brought from Mount Kumano in Wakayama Prefecture and skilled workmen from Kyoto and Kii. Hondō (Hōjō), the main building, which was completed in 1609, measures 39 meteres by 25.2 meters and houses the principal Buddhist image.[1] Many parts of the temple have been designated as natural treasures and cultural assets. The haiku poet Bashō wrote a tribute to the golden walls inside the temple.

The Zuigan-ji temple caves housed the ashes of the deceased.

Zuigan-ji temple features a number of caves carved into the rock. These caves were used for memorial services and as a cinerarium to house the ashes of the deceased. The caves were constructed in the Kamakura period and remained in use until the Edo period.

The temple grounds also contain The Zuigan-ji Art Museum established on October 1, 1995 to display various artifacts, including calligraphy by former head monks, Fusuma paintings, tea cups and portraits.

The temple sustained major damage in the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[1]

See also[edit]

  • For an explanation of terms concerning Japanese Buddhism, Japanese Buddhist art, and Japanese Buddhist temple architecture, see the Glossary of Japanese Buddhism.


  1. ^ Sōshun H., page 12.


  • Sōshun, Horino; Ono, Miki; Higuchi, Tooru (October 31, 1995), Zuigan-ji Museum (2nd ed.), Matsushima-chō, Miyagi Prefecture: Hirano Sōjō – Kōsoku Bijutsu Printing Co. 

External links[edit]

38°22′20″N 141°03′35″E / 38.372178°N 141.059597°E / 38.372178; 141.059597Coordinates: 38°22′20″N 141°03′35″E / 38.372178°N 141.059597°E / 38.372178; 141.059597