Ryuko-ji temple, which used to be an execution site.
This place used to be an execution site. The monk Nichiren, founder of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism, who provoked the antipathy of the Shogunate with his radical ideas, was once scheduled to be executed here after his capture in 1271. In Nichiren Buddhism, this incident is known as the “Tatsunokuchi Persecution”.
One story says that just before the execution, a ball of light flew from the direction of Enoshima and dazzled the executioner. Another claims that light struck the blade that was to be used and broke it into three pieces. In any case, the execution did not occur.
Nichiren is believed to have been the only man in history to escape execution here at the Tatsunomaki execution ground. Since then, Nichiren sect adherents have viewed this spot as a holy site.
Later, in 1337, Nichiren’s disciple Nippō founded a temple here called Jakkō-zan Ryūkō-ji.
Every year, from the 11th to 13th of September, a ceremony called gonan-e is held in Nichiren Buddhism to commemorate the Tatsunokuchi Persecution.
At chozuya (where you wash your hands), there is a dragon and water comes from the mouth, named after the temple's name Ryuko-ji, meaning dragon's mouth.
- 3-13-37 Katase Fujisawa, Kanagawa
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