Kamakura Sugimoto-dera Temple

The oldest temple in Kamakura with a mysterious legend

By Tomoko Kamishima    - 1 min read

Sugimoto-dera Temple was established in the year 734 by priest Gyoki. He carved a statue of an 11-faced kannon and enshrined it at the temple. In 851 priest Ennin also made an 11-faced kannon, and in 985 priest Genshin worked on yet another 11-faced kannon and enshrined it, as well. According to the legend, these three kannon statues escaped from a huge fire 750 years ago. They moved to and sat under a cedar tree in the temple grounds (by themselves) in order to protect themselves. After that, people called this temple Sugimoto-dera (literally, “under the cedar tree”).

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Tomoko Kamishima

Tomoko Kamishima @tomoko.kamishima

Japan is a small island nation, but we have a huge number of surprising things to discover here. Many of these delights can be found when you step off the main street onto small side paths. I really enjoy studying about and researching various aspects of traditional Japanese culture, and then sharing this information with visitors to Japan. I hope you will enjoy it, too! ARTICLE INDEX & PHOTOS:  An index of most of my Japan Travel articles can be found at the entry page of my blog, and my photos are shown here.  日本はとても小さな国ですが、大通りから一本小道に入ればたくさんの発見があります。日本人が積み重ねてきた歴史を学びながら、古い建物や庭を訪ね、物語の舞台となった景色を眺めて、皆様といっしょに日本文化の奥深さを探求していきたいと思います。