Nichiren Taikozan Josenji
Birthplace of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Relic: Taikoden – Statue of Taiko Hideyoshi
Founded: Keicho Era (1596-1615)
By order of Hideyoshi before his death, this temple was founded by Kato Kiyomasa and the priest Enjuin Nichiju as a mausoleum for Hideyoshi.
Following Hideyoshi’s death from illness in 1598 (third year of the Keicho era) the Toyotomi family line ended with the suicides of his son Hideyori and Hideyori’s mother Yodogimi, and the murder of Hideyori’s son Kunimatsu during the summer campaign of the siege of Osaka Castle in 1615 (first year of the Genna era). The temple was destroyed by fire, but the temple’s second priest Shinnei’in saved the statue from disaster by carrying it away.
Treasures associated with the temple
太閤秀吉公束帯唐冠木彫座像 wooden statue of Taiko Hideyoshi wearing a Chinese-style crown
後陽成天皇御下賜采配 baton presented by Emperor Goyozai
豊太閤所持の茶釜（16菊花紋入り）Tea kettle owned by Hideyoshi (with sixteen-petal chrysanthemum motif)
豊太閤愛用の硯 Hideyoshi’s favorite inkstone
秀頼公自筆の書 一編 Fragment of a document written by Hideyoshi
豊太閤御手植えの柊で作った茶杓 Tea bowl made from holly planted by Hideyoshi
木下長嘯子軸 一編 Fragment of a scroll of Kinoshita Choshoshi
豊臣秀吉公・産湯の井戸 Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s Birthplace Well
According to folklore this well was created at the time of Hideyoshi’s birth even though no wellspring existed in the area. The temple’s name, Josenji, meaning “this pure spring gushes forth,” was decided at the time of its construction to honor his birth on this site. In the 1960s the groundwater dried up as the city developed but has revived today. The stones behind the well are granite arranged to resemble a pile of a thousand gourds
Holly Tree Planted by Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Hideyoshi stopped over here during the triumphal return from his attack on Odawara Castle (1590). Summoning Kobayakawa Takakage and Kato Kiyomasa to construct a temple on this site, he saw a hiiragi tree (holly, osmanthus heterophyllus) he had planted when he was 11 years old (1547, sixteenth year of the Tenbun era) growing luxuriantly. Thinking this was an auspicious tree that even demons would fear and that should be treated well, he reinforced it with bamboo himself. Since then, even as the trunks rotted away lower branches have repeatedly emerged. In recent years, insects have damaged the trunk and roots; since October 2016 it has received care from an arborist, and in April 2019 the stone fence was extended to foster root growth
Bronze Statue of Toyotomi Hideyoshi
A bronze statue was constructed in the Tempo era (1831-1845) to commemorate the third centenary of Taiko Toyotomi Hideyoshi. In 1944 (Showa 19) it was requisitioned for use as metal for the war effort, and only the stone pedestal remained. In 1983 (Showa 58) the main hall was destroyed by arson. Thanks to the support of devout believers its reconstruction was celebrated in 1987 (Showa 62). The statue was reconstructed and installed the following May thanks to generous contributors who had wished to see the pedestal restored to its original state.
Relic : Image of Taiko Hideyoshi
Wooden Statue of Taiko Hideyoshi wearing a Chinese-style Crown (length just over 60 centimeters)
Said to be the work of the second priest Shinnei’in, this image was initially at Osaka Castle but at Hideyori’s request Kato Kiyomasa brought it here when Josenji was constructed.
Following Hideyoshi’s death from illness in 1598 (third year of the Keicho era) the Toyotomi family line ended with the suicides of his son Hideyori, Hideyori’s mother Yodogimi, and the murder of Hideyori’s son Kunimatsu during the summer campaign of the siege of Osaka Castle in 1615 (first year of the Genna era). The temple was destroyed by fire, but the temple’s second priest Shinnei’in saved the statue from disaster by carrying it away. When the main hall was destroyed by arson in April 1983 (Showa 58) this image alone was repaired and restored to its original condition at the Bijutsuin in Kyoto.
Musubi no Wa (Wheel of Bonds)
“Musubi” means to tie, as in to tie something closed with string. The world is made up of connections. Bonds have many meanings: blood relations, influence, dependence, personal connections, and so on. The heart symbol represents a person’s life.
- Pray before the main hall
- Make a wish and spin the lower wheel (your thoughts), then spin the upper wheel (Buddha’s will)
- If the colors match your wish will come true
If the colors do not match twice your wish is close
Three or more misses means you must strive harder.
tr. David M. Potter, PhD