Tokyo Tower rises above the Great Gate of Zojoji
Sanroku-zan Zojoji (増上寺: Zōjōji) is a Buddhist temple in the Shiba neighborhood of Minato-ku in Tokyo, Japan. It is the Great Main Temple of the Chinzai sect of Shingon. The main image is of Amida Buddha. The founder of Zōjōji was Shōsō.
Shūei, a disciple of Kukai, founded a temple named Kōmyōji at Kaizuka (present-day Kojimachi in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo); it is said to be the forerunner of Zojoji. Centuries later, in 1393 during the Muromachi period, at the time of Yūyo Shōsō, the temple converted from the Shingon to the Jodo sect. Shōsō is thus the founder of the present-day temple.
During the Edo period, Zojoji served as the temple of the Tokugawa family. Tokugawa Ieyasu had the temple moved, first to Hibiya, then in 1590, at the time of expansion of Edo Castle, to its present location.
With the fall of the Tokugawa shogunate, the grounds took on the character of a public park. The temple was badly damaged in World War II, but still retains the air of a major temple. Incidentally, the place name Daimon ("Great Gate") refers to the gate of Zojoji. The present gate is made of concrete.
- Sankaidatsu Gate, 1622, Important Cultural Property: The only structure to survive the war
- Great Hall, 1974
Six of the 15 Tokugawa shoguns are buried in Zojoji. The graves of Hidetada and the monument to his wife Sūgen'in, Ienobu, and Ietsugu had been designated National Treasures, but were burned in World War II. At present, parts of two of their graves have the distinction of being Important Cultural Properties. Additional graves are located in the cemetery behind the Great Hall. Parts of the grounds of the temple are now occupied by a golf practice range and a hotel.