Area Guide

[Tokyo] Taiso-ji (浄土宗 太宗寺): Unveiling History and Reverence in Shinjuku


Taisoji Temple: Known for Its Venerated History and Resilience

The Taisoji Temple, an ancient and highly venerated Buddhist temple situated in the bustling Shinjuku district of Tokyo, boasts a fascinating history. Its origins date back to the late 16th century, when a humble “so-an” – a grass-roofed and walled hut – was built by the priest Taiso to serve as the foundation for the temple.

In due course, the temple’s popularity grew, and it eventually became the final resting place of the notable Naito family. In 1629, Masakatsu, the fifth-generation head of the Naito family, was interred at this revered site. Owing to its location in Naito Shinjuku, a bustling posting station, the temple received numerous visitors who came to offer prayers and make offerings, thereby facilitating the development of the surrounding area into a thriving temple town.

Taisoji remained well-maintained during the Meiji period, and as Shinjuku continued to expand, the temple flourished. However, the temple was dealt a severe blow during the Great Tokyo Air Raids of 1945, which caused extensive damage by fire.

Despite this tragedy, the temple has been restored and preserved as a testament to its resilience and the enduring strength of Buddhist faith. Presently, visitors can delve into the rich history of Taisoji, marvel at its intricate architecture, and pay homage to the Naito family and their legacy.

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