Kanno-ji (Kagoshima)

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  • Founded: 1194, Eisai
  • Japanese: 鎮国山感応寺 (Chingoku zan Kannou ji)

Chingoku-zan Kannô-ji is a Rinzai Zen temple in Izumi City, Kagoshima prefecture. One of the oldest Zen temples in the country, it was founded by Eisai in 1194, at the request of Honda Sadachika, a retainer of Shimazu Tadahisa. Graves for the first five heads of the Shimazu clan can be found on the grounds, as they can at Honryû-ji in Kagoshima as well.

The temple fell into decline for a time in the 13th century, but was revived by Shimazu Tadamune (1251-1325). After that, it received considerable patronage from the Shimazu Sôshû[1] and Sasshû branch families, and from the local Honda family.

Kannô-ji was closed in the anti-Buddhist policies of the early Meiji period, but was later re-opened and remains active today.


  1. 総州家, one of the two branches into which the main Shimazu lineage was divided at the time. Not to be confused with the cadet Sôshû 相州 Shimazu family.