Daien-in, Founded by Rigen Daishi during the Engi period (901-923)
Originally named Tamon-in, around 1600 Daien-in temple was patronized by Tachibana Muneshige of the Yanagawa domain (modern Fukuoka Prefecture, Yanagawa City) and the name was changed to Daien-in, after his posthumous name. Ajo Risshi (formerly a Taira warrior named Saito Tokiyori, commonly known as Takiguchi Nyudo and famous from Takayama Chogyo’s story Takiguchi Nyudo) was the eighth abbot of Daien-in. The lady he had fell in love with during his warrior days, Yokobue, died and transformed into an uguisu bird (Japanese bush warbler). The plum tree where the bird alighted and the well it then fell into are on the grounds of Daien-in temple. The main image of the temple is a statue of Amida Nyorai. It is said that Takiguchi Nyudo carved this statue, called the Uguisu no Amida, with prayers for the repose of Yokobue.
Daien-in temple combines two other temples:
Tokuzen-in （main image of Dainichi Nyorai）
Shogaku-in （main image of Fudo Myoo, one of the Seven Fudo of Koyasan）
The images of both these temples are worshipped at Daien-in.
Daien-in, with 1000 Years of History
Daien-in is centrally located in Koyasan, and is a lovely building roofed in Japanese cypress bark. The outer gate and entrance are carved with Japanese bush warblers and plum trees, and the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, warmly welcoming visitors. Plum, cherry, lilac trees and others give color to the precincts of the temple throughout all four seasons, delighting the eyes of all. Your thoughts may turn to the world of a millennium ago when you visit Daien-in temple.
Memorial Tower to World War II Students
In the cemetery grounds of Daiei-in temple near Ichi-no-hashi bridge, a memorial to students drafted into naval aviation units in 1943 was erected by their surviving classmates on August 16, 1967. The memorial has been made famous in literature and film. Memorial services with prayers for world peace are held each year on the 12th and 13th of September at Daien-in.
Daien-in, a temple famous for the story of Takiguchi Nyudo and Yokobue in the Heike Monogatari.
The story is the tragic tale of the eighth abbot of Daien-in, Takiguchi Nyudo, and Yokobue. Takiguchi Nyudo met Yokobue when he was still a warrior and fell in love with her. He was forced to renounce his feelings for her, and he then entered a Buddhist monastery. However, their longing for each other continued. Yokobue also decided to become a Buddhist nun, but she soon fell sick and died. Her spirit transformed into an uguisu bird (Japanese bush warbler) and came to this temple to see Takiguchi Nyudo one last time. The bird alighted on a branch of a plum tree in the garden and called to Takiguchi Nyudo. He came to see it, but just then it fell from the branch into the well. He knew immediately that the bird was a sign from Yokobue that she had died.
In the precincts of Daien-in temple are the Uguisu Well, the Uguisu Plum Tree, and other ancient sites.