Osaka, Japan



Isshin-ji (一心寺) is a Pure Land Buddhist temple in Osaka, Japan. Starting in the Meiji period, thirteen images have been formed, each incorporating the ashes of tens of thousands of devotees. The annual burial ceremony on 21 April in turn draws tens of thousands of worshippers.

Isshin-ji is said to have been founded in 1185 by Hōnen. Tokugawa Ieyasu camped at the compound in 1614–15 during the Siege of Osaka Castle and became a patron of the temple after his victory. Kobori Enshū designed the temple's tea room or chashitsu in this period called Yatsu-mado no seki (八つ窓の席). The popular Kabuki actor Ichikawa Danjūrō VIII was buried in the grounds in 1854 and from that time large numbers of urns were deposited there. By the mid-1880s there were over fifty thousand and, in part due to limitations of space, in 1887 the head priest commissioned sculptors skilled in casting to create a statue of Amida, combining the ashes with resin. Bombing during the Pacific War destroyed the temple and the six statues completed by then.

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