CHION-IN ENGLISH SITE

Historical Timeline of the Chion-in Temple

1175
Hōnen, the founder of the Jōdo Shū (Pure Land Sect), builds a grass hermitage here and spreads the teaching of the “exclusive nembutsu.”
1207
Persecuted by the older sects of Buddhism, Hōnen is exiled to Sanuki, on the island of Shikoku.
1211
Hōnen returns to Kyoto. He enters the Nanzen-in meditation hermitage atop Mt. Ōtani (the site of the present-day Seishidō).
1212
Hōnen passes away in the first month of the year. His disciples build a mausoleum in Ōtani, where he spent his last days.
1227
Soldier-monks from Mt. Hiei destroy the Ōtani Mausoleum.
1234
Hōnen’s disciple Genchi constructs various temple buildings and declares Hōnen to be the founder of the temple.
1517
There was a fire at the temple in the eighth month (lunar calendar). The image of Hōnen and the Illustrated Biography of Hōnen (Hōnen Shōnin Gyōjō Ezu) survive the fire.
1524
An imperial edict ordering memorial services for Hōnen is issued, marking the beginning of the annual “Gyoki-Daie” service (from January 18-25) for Hōnen.
1530
The Seishidō is rebuilt. Emperor Go-Nara writes and donates calligraphic scrolls which read “Chionkyōin” and “Ōtanidera.”
1573
Oda Nobunaga quarters soldiers at Chion-in.
1585
Toyotomi Hideyoshi allocates an estate yielding 190 koku (approximately 942 bushels of rice) to the temple.
1603
Tokugawa Ieyasu declares Chion-in to be the eternal family temple for the Tokugawa clan and grants an estate yielding 703 koku (approximately 3458 bushels of rice) to the temple.
1604
Tokugawa Ieyasu partitions the land belonging to another temple, the Shōren-in, and commissions the construction of temple buildings.
1607
Emperor Go-Yōzei appoints his son, Prince Hachi-no-Miya, to be the chief head priest of Chion-in.
1619
The Bakufu (shogun’s government) commences construction of the Sanmon (main gate) and Kyōzō (sutra repository). Construction is completed two years later.
1633
Fire on the temple grounds. Only the Sanmon (main gate) and Kyōzō (sutra repository) are spared.
1641
Various temple buildings are rebuilt (such as the present day Mieidō (hall that houses the image of Hōnen), Ōhōjō (large guest house), and Kohōjō (small guest house)).
1697
Hōnen is bequeathed the posthumous title of Enkō Daishi (Great Master of Tranquil Light).
1710
Retired Emperor Reigen donates a placard written in his own hand which reads “Kachōzan.”
1711
The 500th anniversary of the death of Hōnen. The Koshiki Hōyō (Ancient Ceremonies) rituals are established.
1835
The Ōhōjō (large guest house), Kuromon (black gate), and Shūedō (assembly hall) are repaired.
1872
Chion-in becomes an exhibition site and Emperor Meiji pays a visit.
1877
From this year on, Gyoki, dai-e(the memorial services for Hōnen) are held in April.
1910
Ceremonies celebrating the completion of the reconstruction of the Amida-dō (hall that houses the image of Amida) are held.
1911
The 700th anniversary of the death of Hōnen. The Kachō Jogakuin (Kachō Girls’ Academy) is founded.
1961
Services are held for the 750th anniversary of the death of Hōnen.
1970
The Chion-in Shiryō Hensanjo (Chion’in Historical Records Center) is opened. Ground is broken for the Wajun Kaikan Hall, a training hall for lay followers.
1972
Services are held celebrating the completion of the Wajun Kaikan Hall.
1974
The Gongendō (hall that houses the memorial tablets for the Tokugawa clan) is completed. Services celebrating the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Jōdo Shū are held.
1980
Memorial services for the 1300th anniversary of the death of Grand Master Zendō (Shandao) are held.
1982
Services are held celebrating Hōnen’s 850th birthday.
1987
Memorial services for the Three Famous Great Monks (Genchi, the second chief high priest of the Chion-in; Benchō, the second patriarch of the Jōdo Shū; and Ryōchū, the third patriarch of the Jōdo Shū) are held.
1992
Services are held celebrating the completion of repairs done on the Sanmon (main gate). The Hōbutsuden (Buddha Treasure Hall) is completed.
2000
Repairs to the Kyōzō (sutra repository) are completed and a celebratory service is held.
2002
The Sanmon (main gate) and Mieidō (hall that houses the image of Hōnen) are declared National Treasures.
2010
The restoration of the Shūedō (assembly hall) will be completed.
2011
Services will be held in memorial of the 800th anniversary of the death of our founder, Hōnen.
2021
The restoration of the Mieidō (hall that houses the image of Hōnen) will be completed.
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