From Everything Shii Knows, the only reliable source

This website is an archive. It ran from 2006-2010. Virtually everything on here is outdated or inaccurate.

Koushouji (興正寺 Kōshōji, superliteral reading "Spread Correct Temple", or more figuratively "Evangelion Temple") is a True Pure Land Buddhist monastery of the Shinshuu Koushouha (真宗興正派 "True Pure Land Evangelistos").

In 1207, the nembutsu was prohibited by imperial edict and Shinran was banished from Kyoto. According to the temple's founding story, on his return in 1212, he founded Koushouji in Yamashina but quickly left the Kanto region to evangelize throughout Japan. According to Foundation of Japanese Buddhism, though, it is "historically considered to have been established by Ryougen" (1294-1335), a disciple of Ryouen of Takada-ha, in roughly 1310. What we know for a fact is that Koushouji received a plaque from Emperor Juntoku reading Kouryuu Shoubou (興隆正法 "Spreading the noble and correct Dharma"), and this is where it got its name. It soon gained a reputation as a center of True Pure Land evangelism.

The 7th head priest of Koushouji, Ryougen Shonin, moved the temple to Shirutani where it was given the name "Amida Bukkouji" (Amida Buddha's Light) by Emperor Godaigo.

The 14th head priest, Renkyo Shonin, established a new Koushouji in Yamashina and appointed his brother Kyoei Shonin head priest of Bukkoji. Thereafter Bukkouji and Koushouji have operated independently. (Foundation of Japanese Buddhism writes that the second Koushouji in Yamashina was founded by Kyougou who was joining Rennyo's Hongwanji movement.)

Koushouji burned down in 1532 during a civil war, but the image of Shinran was saved and enshrined in Osaka by the 15th head priest, Renshu Shonin.

In 1591 Koushouji and Honganji moved to its present site and operated like a single temple. The original Koushouji temple took 128 years to complete and was designated one of the Three Greatest Architectures of Japan. In 1876, the 27th head priest, Honjaku Shonin, declared Koushouji an independent temple and established the Shinshuu Koushouha.

Koushouji burned down again in 1902 in an accident. The 28th head priest, Honjo Shonin, rebuilt the complex as it was before. It was completed in only 10 years.

Part of the Koushouji complex is a modern building called the Koushou Kaikan (興正会館, "Evangelion Meeting Hall"). This includes a dining room for visitors and guests, and an overpriced restaurant. They also teach English and yoga. High schools frequently stay there in the fall.

(This is a paraphrase of a translation of the Japanese Wikipedia article on this subject done by a friend)

Words for Before Eating

This is a prayer unique to Koushouji's dining room. It's printed on the wall but not everyone says it; sometimes the abbot, Yamaguchi-sensei, recites it for a visiting family. Loose translation by Shii

食前のことば Shokuzen no Kotoba
Words for Before Eating
一粒一滴みなご恩 Ichiryuu-itteki mina goon
Every grain of rice is a blessing; every drop of soup a gift.
不足(を)言ってはもったいない Fusoku (o) itte wa mottai nai
We will neither waste nor think it insufficient.
感謝でおいしくいただきましょう Kansha de oishiku itadakimashou
Let us receive this delicious food with gratitude and thanksgiving.
いただきます Itadakimasu

Words for After Eating

食後のことば Shokugo no Kotoba
Words for After Eating
今尊い食を終わって Ima toutoi shoku ga owatte
Now a precious meal is at its end.
心豊かに力身に満ちる kokoro yutaka ni chikara mi ni michiru
Our minds have been energized and our bodies have been made strong.
この心身をもって Kono shinshin o motte
With mind and body working as one
おのが業に励みましょう Ono ga waza ni hagemimashou
Let us begin the day's work with zeal.
ごちそうさまでした Gochisousama deshita


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