Buddhism in Kita Kamakura (Yamanouchi)

Buddhism in Kita Kamakura (Yamanouchi)

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

The changing fortunes of Kamakura altered in 1180 once Minamoto no Yoritomo entered this important place with loyal samurai. In 1185, Yoritomo defeated the powerful Taira clan. This was followed by the power concentration of Kamakura under the Minamoto clan and loyal samurai warriors. Therefore, until 1333, Kamakura was the guardian of the gate.

Kita Kamakura (Yamanouchi) and the larger Kamakura continue to attract people to this part of Japan in modern times. People visit for a plethora of reasons: this includes religious pilgrimages, hiking in the mountains, artistic legacy, history, richness of culture, gardens, and other factors.

Kamakura is blessed with the majority of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. However, the tranquility angle of Kita Kamakura – along with lovely hiking trails – entails that many people visit this lovely place by itself. Of course, some tourists solely visit Kamakura or enjoy both.

The Shokozan Tokei-ji Buddhist Temple in Kita Kamakura is blessed with a unique history concerning being a sanctuary for women. Accordingly, several thousand women escaped their abusive husbands from the late thirteenth century – to the early Meiji Period (1868-1912).

The Shokozan Tokei-ji website, says, “In 1285, Shokozan Tokeiji Temple was founded in Kamakura by Kakusanshidoni, Hojo Tokimune’s wife. This temple was a sanctuary for women seeking divorce and succeeded as a sanctuary for almost 600 years.

Famous Buddhist temples to visit in Kita Kamakura include Kenchō-ji, Engaku-ji, Chōju-ji, Tokei-ji, and Jōchi-ji ( a branch of Engaku-ji).

The Meigetsu-in is also a very popular Buddhist temple. This temple is blessed with a stunning round window, an important well, the grave of Hōjō Tokiyori, and the Yagura cave. Meigetsu-in also attracts many people during the Hydrangeas season.

Kita Kamakura in Kanagawa Prefecture is within easy reach from Tokyo.

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