If you visited Zoshigaya Cemetery, you can visit a famous temple in the area – Kishibojin. Kishibojin is a name of the goddess.
Kishibojin in Chinese characters is 鬼子母神. These characters mean devil, child, mother and goddess. This Kishibojin is goddess in this temple. So you may wonder if it’s a good goddess or a devil.
The origin of Kishibojin is India. The legend says that Kishibojin was a mother of many children (some said 500, some said 1,000 or 10,000). But she needed energy to raise kids so she captured human kids. One day Budda hid her youngest kid. Kishibojin wandered around looking for him in vain and visited Budda to ask for his help. Budda told her that she felt so sad losing one of her kids but that humans became even sadder losing their only kids. Then she finally realized her fault and became goddess of kids and safe delivery.
In front of this temple stretches out line of trees, zelkova serrata and there are some shops along the street. Some trees are as old as 400 years old.
When you enter into the precinct of the temple, there is a large tree of ginkgo which is older than 600 years old. The round of the trunk is 8 meters and the hight is over 30 meters.
By the ginkgo tree, there is a small shrine of Takeyoshi Inari which has series of red torii gates. Why many torii gates is explained in this posting.
The statue of Kishibojin is in front of the main building. It was dug out from the land nearby in 1561. I forgot to take a photo so I borrowed this photo from a website which explains Kishibojindo Temple.
The temple was built in this area in 1578 and the main building was built in 1664.
Address: 15-20 Zoshigaya 3-chome, Toshima-ku, Tokyo