Osaka, Japan



Shitennō-ji (Japanese: 四天王寺, Temple of the Four Heavenly Kings) is a Buddhist temple in Ōsaka, Japan. It is also known as Arahaka-ji, Nanba-ji, or Mitsu-ji. The temple is sometimes regarded as the first Buddhist and oldest officially-administered temple in Japan, although the temple complex and buildings have been rebuilt over the centuries, with the last reconstruction taking place in 1963. It is the head temple of the Wa Sect of Buddhism.

Prince Shōtoku was known for his profound Buddhist faith when Buddhism was not widespread in Japan during the 6th century. In order to popularize Buddhism, Prince Shōtoku lead a massive national project to promote Buddhism and he commissioned the construction of Shitennō-ji. Prince Shōtoku invited three Korean carpenters from Baekje. They brought knowledge and led the construction of Shitennō-ji. The commission of Shitennō-ji was part of a massive national project led by Prince Shōtoku.

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