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Jun 2024 02
Kawaraya Zenji Temple
瓦屋禅寺

Kawaraya Zenji Temple | A mysterious village deep in the mountains.
An ancient temple connected to Prince Shotoku that watches over Higashi-Omi.

瓦屋禅寺 | 山深き幽玄の里。
東近江を見守る、聖徳太子ゆかりの古刹。

A hill overlooking the East-Omi area. The water source of this mountain is connected to the blessings of Lake Biwa. At the end of the approximately 1,000 stone steps of Omotesando is a magnificent reed-thatched roof that overwhelms those who see it.

It is said that the name Kawarayazen-ji Temple was given by Prince Shotoku. It is said that Prince Shotoku had 106,000 tiles made using soil from the mountains, and these tiles were used when constructing Shitennoji Temple in Settsu.

東近江一帯を見渡す高台。この御山の水源が琵琶湖の恵みへと繋がっている。
約1000段ある表参道の石段の先にあるのは、見る者を圧倒する壮麗なヨシ葺き屋根。

瓦屋寺の名は聖徳太子より賜ったと伝わる。聖徳太子が山中の土を用いて瓦を106,000枚造らせて、摂津の四天王寺建立の際にその瓦を用いたのだとか。

The reed roof was chosen because it is located near Lake Biwa and in an area with heavy snowfall. The roof has been completely reroofed every 60 years, and has been carefully preserved by people.

琵琶湖付近であること、そして豪雪地帯であることから採用されたヨシ葺きの屋根。
約60年のサイクルで総葺き替えを行い、人々の手により丁寧に保存されてきた。

In ancient times, It was built by the order of Prince Shotoku and later , it flourished as a branch temple of Todai-ji Temple, and there was also a Tendai sect era as it was connected to Enryaku-ji Temple on Mt. Hiei, but unfortunately the entire hall was destroyed in a fire by Oda Nobunaga in the Eiroku era. For the next 80 years, it fell into disrepair, giving a sense of the impermanence of the world, but in the early Edo period Kawara Zenji was rebuilt as a temple of the Myoshinji sect of the Rinzai sect.

古くは聖徳太子の命により建立され後に東大寺の末寺として隆盛を極め、比叡山延暦寺の関係で天台宗時代もあったが、永禄年間に織田信長の兵火により惜しくも堂宇は焼失。その後80年程の間は荒廃し世の無常さを感じさせるも、江戸初期に奥州松島瑞巌寺中興開山雲居希膺禅師が市内に伊達藩の飛び地があった関係で、その高弟である香山祖桂禅師がこの古刹瓦屋寺の衰退を嘆き再興を誓い雲居禅師の篤志者であった八日市の福原茂右衛門を願主に小堂を建立。梵鐘を吊って臨済宗妙心寺派の一寺として瓦屋禅寺が中興された。

According to temple legend, the eleven-faced, thousand-armed, thousand-eyed Kanzeon Bodhisattva standing statue, the four statues of the Four Heavenly Kings, and the seated Jizo Bodhisattva statue in the center of the main hall were created by Prince Shotoku. It is a precious treasure.
Four statues of the Four Heavenly Kings created by Prince Shotoku are placed on all sides to protect the Thousand-Eyed Kannon statue.

本堂中心の十一面千手千眼観世音菩薩立像(旧国宝・現国重要文化財指定)、四天王像四体(東近江市文化財指定)、地蔵菩薩座像は寺伝によると聖徳太子作とされる貴重な宝物だ。
御本尊を守るように四方に配置された、聖徳太子御作の四天王像4体。

Statues of the two priests who founded Kawara Zenji Temple. Those bodies were carefully repaired in 2020, and have maintained their beautiful appearance.

瓦屋禅寺開山和尚である二人の像。勧請開山和尚は松島瑞巌寺中興開山雲居希膺禅師、中興開山和尚は雲居禅師の上足(弟子)で香山祖桂禅師。令和4年から5年にかけて2体は丁寧に修繕され、美しい姿を保っている。

Inside the Jizo-do Hall, which is said to be the oldest building in Kawara Zenji Temple. In ancient times, it played a central role as the former main hall. In winter, even the water in the vase freezes, allowing soft sunlight to shine into the chilly interior.

瓦屋禅寺最古の建造物とされる地蔵堂の内部へ。古くは旧本堂として中心的な役割を果たしてきた。冬は花瓶の水も凍るという、底冷えする室内に柔らかな日光が差し込む。

Enshrined in front is a statue of Jizo Bodhisattva, said to have been created by Prince Shotoku. It is called the child-rearing Jizo, and is said to relieve people of the pain of having an easy childbirth.

正面に安置されているのは、聖徳太子作とされる地蔵菩薩像。子育子安地蔵と称され、人々の安産の苦しみを代わりに取り除いてくださると伝わる。

The walls are lined with thirty-three cypress board paintings depicting the incarnation of Kannon Bodhisattva. The image of God saving people is full of dynamism and gives off vivid colors.

観音菩薩の化身である三十三化身桧絵板図がずらりと並ぶ壁面。人々を救済してくださるという御姿は、躍動感に溢れ鮮やかな色彩を放つ。

When I looked up, I saw a ferocious cloud dragon on the ceiling. It has been passed down as a valuable temple treasure from the early Edo period, along with the 33 cypress board paintings.

上を見上げると、天井には猛々しい雲龍図が。三十三化身桧絵板図と共に江戸初期の貴重な寺宝として受け継がれてきた。

Jizo-do Hall was previously a building with a four-sided reed-thatched roof, just like the current main hall. It is said that due to extensive repairs carried out in 1896, it became the current gabled roof with tiles.

以前は現本堂と同じくヨシ葺きの四方屋根の建造物であった地蔵堂。明治 14年に行われた大々的修繕により、現在の切妻造の桟瓦葺となったという。

A view of the mountain village overlooking the Mother Kannon from a hill filled with a divine atmosphere.
Kawara Zenji Temple has survived many ruins, and has been restored and preserved through the changing times. I hope that it will be passed down with care as a presence that watches over the people of Omi.

神々しい空気に満たされた高台より、慈母観音とともに見渡す山里の情景。
幾度もの廃寺を乗り越え、時世に移ろいながらも復興し保たれてきた瓦屋禅寺。近江の人々を見守る存在として大切に受け継がれていくことを願っている。

about this venue

Kawaraya Zenji Temple
瓦屋禅寺

Location: 436 Takebe Kawarayajicho, Higashiomi City
Phone number: 0748-22-1065

所在地:東近江市建部瓦屋寺町436
電話:0748-22-1065