Kōzō-ji (Kisarazu, Chiba)
|Address||1245 Yana, Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture 〒292-0812|
Kōzō-ji (高蔵寺?) is a Buddhist temple located in the city of Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. The temple is also known as the Takazō Kannon. Kiyomizu-dera is the 30th temple in the Bandō Sanjūsankasho, the circuit of 33 Buddhist temples in Eastern Japan sacred to the Bodhisattva Kannon. Amulets issued by the temple are highly valued throughout Japan.
According to legend, Kōzō-ji was founded in the Heian period by the priest Tokugi in the brief period of the Emperor Yōmei, father of Prince Shōtoku, and a vocal supporter of Buddhism early in the Asuka period. Later, Tokugi built and dedicated the temple to the Bodhisattava Kannon after having seen the Kannon in a vision. The area around the temple is associated with the birthplace of Fujiwara no Kamatari (614 – 669), a statesman, courtier and politician of the Asuka period.
Hondō main hall
The hondō main hall of Kōzō-ji is a multi-story structure. It features an 'irimoya' roof typical of Buddhist architecture the 6th century with a hip roof that slopes down on all four sides and integrates on two opposing sides with a gable. The hondō was probably constructed in 1526.
Kōzō-ji is noted for its Kannon statue, formerly known as the Kanzeon Bosaztsu (正観世音菩薩?). The statue stands 3.6 metres (11.8 ft) high, and is made of a single piece of wood from a camphor tree. The hondō features an unusual raised-floor construction. The Kannon statue was formerly hidden from view, but now sits on the raised floor and can be viewed by parishioners of the temple and by the general public.
The three major structures of Kozo-ji are designated as important cultural treasures by the City of Kisarazu.
They include the:
- February 2 -- Setsubun observance of the beginning of spring
- March -- Vernal Equinox Higan service
- August 18—Kannon Festival
- August 24 -- Segakie, a memorial service
- September -- Autumnal Equinox Higan service
- December -- 'Joya no Kane', ringing of the temple bell 108 times for the New Year