In the eighth century in China, there was a high ranking priest. His name was Hossho-Zenji. One day, he received a scroll with the image of Amida Buddha from Monju Bodhisattva at Godaisan Chikurinji Temple. Since then, Hossho-Zenji followed and spread Amida Buddha’s teaching diligently. He put the scroll in the temple as a treasure, and many people visited to pray to the Amida Buddha from many places.
The twelfth century in Japan, there was a government official whose name was Shigemori Taira. At that time, there were many conflicts in Japan. Since he could not make peace, he donated gold to the temple in China to pray for peace in his country. Because of his offering to the temple, the temple sent him the Amida Buddha scroll. Shigemori was so impressed to have it that he started praying to the Amida Buddha for Japan’s peace, emperor, and people, and for his family every day.
In autumn of the year 1150, Shigemori was sick in bed, and he knew that he would die soon. He gave the scroll to Sadayoshi Taira who was one of his good servants. Shigemori told Sadayoshi to pray for peace and for his family after he died.
After the Taira tribe was defeated at war (Dannoura), Sadayoshi followed Shigemori’s will. He kept the scroll and prayed for peace every day.
He secretly moved to this location and changed his name Sadayoshi to Joge because he wanted to hide and protect himself from his enemies.
Sadayoshi Taira passed away in July 1198 when he was sixty years old. Because of his will, his servants and followers built a small temple in his graveyard and enshrined the Amida Buddha’s scroll in the temple.
In 1706, Mr. Genbei Hayasaka, who was a local leader of the area, thought that they should have a priest to take care of this Amida Buddha. Then, Mr. Hayasaka became a priest and started Saihoji temple.
English brochure is available in the office