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Kamakura Sugimoto-dera Temple

The oldest temple in Kamakura with a mysterious legend

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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