Tied-Up Deity: Rinsen-ji Temple at Myogadani

A few-minute-walk from Myogadani Station will take you to Rinsen-ji Temple.

(1) Rinsen-ji Temple

This temple has a statue of Guardian Deity of Children, “Jizou” inside but the shape of the deity is very unique.  Take a close look at the featured image on top of this page.  Can you see the ropes around the body of the deity?  This jizou is tied-up by ropes.

bf9e94ef446d566a0949ec2065867396This temple was established in 1602 bu Hanbei Nagamitsu Itoh.  There was a custom to tie up the jizou when you make a wish and when it was realized, you would visit the jizou to thank him and untie the jizou.  The statue is now standing in the specially built curb with a roof but it used to stand outside.  And also not the ropes around the body look new but until some years ago, the jizou was tied up with various kinds of ropes.

There is another tied-up jizou in a temple called Nanzouin in Tokyo.  The origin seems to be the same.  A textile merchant was robbed of his product in front of Jizou.  A famous judge decided to tow away Jizou because he had not done anything although someone stole merchant’s textile in front of him.  Therefore, poor Jizou was tied up and was taken to the court house.  Many citizens gathered in the court house because everybody wondered what the judge would do to Jizou.  Then the judge shut the door of the court house and told the people who entered inside, “It is prohibited to step inside the court without permission.  You should bring in the textile to the court as fine/penalty within three days.”  During the next three days, the court received lots of textile from all over Edo which is former Tokyo because there were so many people went into the court house without permission.  Of course, the judge checked all those textile collected and found the stolen products.  Soon the robber was found out and taken to the prison.  After that, Jizou was honored and worshiped – and people tied up Jizou when they made a wish and after it was realized, they untied Jizou.

Address: 7-2 Kohinata 4-chome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

(2) Shinkou-ji Temple

The nextdoor of Rinsen-ji Temple is another temple called Shinkou-ji.  Those who love Japanese classic literature may know this temple because there is a grave of Bakin Takizawa.  This person wrote a drama Nansou Satomi Hakkenden which became very popular during Edo era.

If you walk by the temple, you can see many small statues of Jizou deities.


The temple was opened in 1639.  The main God in this temple is Ebisu, the god of fishermen and good luck.  So inside the temple, you can meet him.  I think he has red sea bream or porgy, tai in Japanese which is a fish served in happy occasions.

Address: 9-5 Kohinata 4-chome, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo


One thought on “Tied-Up Deity: Rinsen-ji Temple at Myogadani

  1. Pingback: Christian Mansion in Myogadani – walkingbikingjapan

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