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Naritasan Shinshoji Temple

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Naritasan Shinshoji Temple
Naritasan Shinshoji Temple Outer Gate

Naritasan Shinshoji temple is located in Narita city of Chiba prefecture.  This temple is a few minutes walk from the JR Narita station.  This temple belongs to Shingon Buddhist sect.

The main worshiped deity at this Naritasan Kongo-oin Shinshoji Temple is Fudomyoo.  This is an extremely valuable image that Kobo Daishi (founder of Shingon) himself carved, consecrated and conducted a Goma (holy fire) rite upon the direct order of Emperor Saga.

The image was enshrined at Takosan Jionji Temple in Kyoto for a long period of time.  At the time of a revolt by Masakado Taira in 939, the great monk Kancho carried the image to the Kanto region with him on secret orders from Emperor Suzaku.  At Narita, in the Shimousa region, Kancho offered a Goma rite prayer for peace lasting 21 days.

Naritasan Shinshoji Temple Seal

On 14th February 940, upon the final day of the prayer, the revolt was suppressed.  After this, Naritasan was founded and honored with the temple name, Shinshoji.   There are many new and old buildings in the Naritasan's sprawling precincts including a bell tower and a three storied pagoda.  The bell tower was originally built in 1701 and the present bell was cast in 1968 to commemorate the completion of the Great Main Hall.  (Source: temple brochure)

The Great Main Hall that enshrines the image of Fudamyoo, the main deity, opened for public in 1968.  This is where the Goma (holy fire) rite is conducted. The word Goma was borrowed from the sanskrit word Homa (means holy fire) is a service where many votive offerings are dedicated on the platform in front of the principal deity and special pieces of wood called Goma sticks are burnt for prayer.  It is a way for Buddhists to renounce their worldly possessions and achieve Nirvana.  Many Shingon sect temples perform Goma rites and at Naritasan this is conducted every day.

At the tail end of the temple precincts there is a Great Pagoda of Peace, which also exhibits many historical artifacts of Naritasan.

Here is a video of the Naritasan Shinshoji Temple:

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