Story-Composing Cultural Assets Mt. Homan
【National Historical Site】
This beautifully shaped 829meter mountain in the northeast of Dazaifu was once called Mt. Mikasa. From the Nara period, national border rituals were carried out on this mountain. According to one record, Saicho sculpted a Yakushi Buddha statue here before going to Tang China, praying for a safe sea voyage. After returning, he set out to build six pagodas in Japan; and the Anzai Pagoda was built here. During the middle ages, a temple and administrative office for Dazaifu were built here, and trade with foreign countries was conducted. Now it is the site of Kamado Shrine, and it conveys the flavor of the ancient rituals conducted on the mountain.
Mt. Homan is located on the northeast side of Dazaifu and its altitude is 829-meters. In ancient times, it was also called “Mt. Mikasa” or “Mt. Kamado”.
Since ancient times, it flourished as a place for religious rituals where both gods and Buddha were worshipped.
In the Heian era, a famous aristocrat composed a poem describing the beautiful seasonal scenery of this mountain, and even today it is crowded with many hikers.
This shrine takes over the tradition of Mt. Homan and it worships Princess Tamayori, Empress Jingu and Emperor Oujin.
“Jo-gu (upper sanctuary)” is located on the mountaintop and “Ge-gu (lower sanctuary)” at the foot of the mountain.
On this mountain, religious rituals have been carried out since the 8th century, but “Kamadosan-ji” Temple appeared in the historical record in the year 803 and showed that they worshiped both gods and Buddha. Later this shrine was called “Daisen-ji Temple”, and was used to carry out trade with foreign countries. It became a famous temple and shrine even in the central area of Japan. In the 12th century, it became a branch temple of Enryaku-ji on Mt. Hiei (Northeast of Kyoto) and thereafter became a famous place to perform Shugen-do. (Japanese mountain asceticism – shamanism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts)
At its peak, it has been said that there were 370 priest residences quarters on the mountain.
Foundation stones of Ge-gu (lower sanctuary) building
This building is considered a main building of Kamadosan-ji Temple (or Daisen-ji Temple)” on Mt. Homan.
Kamadosan-ji Temple is known for the story about Saicho (762-822). On the way to the Tang dynasty, he stopped by this temple to pray for safe sailing and he made 4 statues of Yakushi-butsus in the year 803.
Rokusho Hoto-in Temple (Anzai pagoda)
At the wish of Saicho, the Tendai sect of Enryaku-ji Temple on Mt. Hiei (Northeast of Kyoto) built “Anzai Chikuzen Hoto-in Temple” as one of the Rokusho Hoto-in Temples in the year 933.
These ruins have a wide space of stone platforms.