Unique Architecture Expressing its Indian Heritage
Tsukiji Honganji, one of the largest Buddhist temples in Japan, is the central temple of Jodo Shinshu sect of Amida Buddhism in Tokyo, supervising more than 600 other temples in Eastern Japan. Built in 1934, its unusual-looking structure expresses wish to show the tie of Japanese Buddhism to its Indian heritage.
The Temple Moved from Asakusa
Tsukiji Hongan-ji’s predecessor was Edo-Asakusa Gobo Temple, built in Asakusa in 1617. The temple burned during a city-wide fire in 1657 and was moved to a new parcel of land being reclaimed by the Sumida River – today’s Tsukiji. This site for the temple was said to have been reclaimed by Jodo Shinshu followers themselves who lived in nearby Tsukudajima town. This new temple, named Tsukiji Gobo, stood until it was leveled by the Great Kantō Earthquake of 1923.
Rebuilt in Stone
The present Tsukiji Hongan-ji Temple was designed by Chuta Ito of the University of Tokyo and built between 1931 and 1934. It is noted for its unique architecture, influenced by temples in India. When the 1923 Earthquake marked the 9th time the temple was destroyed by fire, the decision was made to rebuild it in stone.