Kitain Temple's History
We introduce representative buildings of Kitain with the long history for 1200 years.
The history of Kitain is thought to have begun when the monk Ennin founded Muryoju Temple in 830 A.D. Muryoju is another name for the Amitabha Buddha (Buddha of Unending Life) the main object of worship at the Temple. A Buddhist temple of the Tendai Sect, is was divided into three parts: Kitain (North Temple) , Nakain (Middle Temple), and Minamiin (South Temple).
Burned down during fighting in 1205, the temple was rebuilt in 1296 by the monk Sonkai. Emperor Gofushimi made it head of the Tendai Sect temples in east Japan in 1300.
Kitain became the main temple of the three-temple complex after Tenkai became the head monk in 1599 (a carving of him is housed on the knoll next to the main Kitain building).and his friendship with the first Tokugawa shogun, Ieyasu, Kitain flourished. The ChinePreviously Nakain Temple had been the most influential. Under Tenkai's influence se characters used to write Kitain were changed from those meaning North Temple, which has a dark image, to those meaning Temple of Much Happiness. Kitain is today the head Tendai Sect temple of the kanto area. Nakain is now a separate temple, and all that remains of Minamiin is small graveyard.