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Kaigenji Temple

Hakata Area

Kaigenji is home to impactful statues of the bodhisattvas Enma-Daio and Kannon. It was opened in 1396 by Gyozan Shonin of the Dairensha Buddhist Society. This temple is said to have been moved to its current location from nearby Chiyomachi in Hakata-ku after Kuroda Nagamasa, the first lord of the old Fukuoka Domain, started reigning in the area, in order to shore up its defenses. There are two temples next to each other on the temple grounds, the Enma Temple and the Kannon Temple, both rebuilt in June 2016. The Enma Temple contains a statue of Enma based around the neck of an Enma statue from Kyoto said to have been brought back to Hakata by the spear-bearer Genshichi. The Kannon Temple is one of a renowned set of 33 temples in the Kinki region that contains a statue of Kannon, which itself was erected by Yasaji, a resident of Nakagofukumachi who believed deeply in Kannon. The Enma Temple contains a gacha-style capsule machine that you can buy Enma fortunes from for 300 yen. It is a good thing to try out. Every year an Enma Festival is held on August 8 and January 16. Participants make offerings of konyaku jelly during the festival. Specifically, the konyaku jelly is offered to Datsueba, said to reside next to the Sanzu River (or “River of Three Crossings,” which the dead must cross before entering the afterlife). Datsueba is referred to fondly in Hakata as the “Konyaku Woman.” It is said that the merit earned from offering her konyaku jelly will cure sicknesses among children and help mothers produce milk. During the August festival, the Temple displays its vibrant and colorful Jyuouzu Scroll, which depicts ten kings handing down judgments on pre-birth sins in the land of the dead.

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