Gokuraku-ji (Okinawa)

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  • Established: 1265
  • Other Names: 龍福寺 (Ryûfuku-ji)
  • Japanese: 極楽寺 (Gokuraku-ji)

Gokuraku-ji was a Buddhist temple established near Urasoe gusuku on Okinawa Island in 1265 by the monk Zenkan, during the reign of King Eiso. It is generally believed to have been the first Buddhist temple established on Okinawa.

The temple was later relocated, burned down, and was reconstructed to the south of Urasoe gusuku by King Shô En (r. 1469-1476), who renamed it Ryûfuku-ji and installed a Rinzai Zen monk from Kyoto named Kaiin to serve as abbot.

The temple was burned down again in 1609, during the Shimazu clan invasion of Ryukyu.


  • Gregory Smits, Maritime Ryukyu, University of Hawaii Press (2019), 141.