EN-no-OZUNU a.k.a. En-no-GYOJA (Shugen-do)

It’s Japan original Buddhism!
Shugendo is Japanese original religion that have been mixed with Buddhism and Japanese original sacred mountains worship. Shugendo has in it some of the elements of vajrayana.

In Meiji era, the government issued a ban of Shugen (1872). That’s why Shugendo declined temporarily. In 1947, the ban was canceled (the ban is against the constitution), so Shugendo is one of active religion.

The founder is En-no-Ozunu,Japanese ascetic of esoteric Buddhism (a.k.a. En-no-Gyoja). But we don’t know whether he is actual person or?not.

The principal image is Zaou Gongen.

Zaou Gongen has an unique pose like athlete with joy after getting a point.
Of course ZAOU GONGEN has not the root to Indian Buddhism. It’s Japanese original image. ZAOU GONGEN appeared in front of En-no-Ozunu, His character is unity of SHAKA, KANNON and MIROKU.

Ascetic of Shugendo is called Yamabushi. Their costume is also unique.

(Left) En-no-Ozunu
(Right) Yamabushi

Shugendo’s head temple.
Kinpusen-ji at Nara pref. It’s 2nd largest temple.

Other main temples and mountains.
Daigo-ji, Shogo-in, Onjou-ji, Kabusan-ji.
Mt. Dewa Sanzan, Mt. Mitsumine, Mt. Mitake, Mt. Takao, Mt. Fuji, Mt. Togakure & Iizuna, Mt. Akiba, Mt. Hakusan, Mt. Kumano Sanzan and so on…

SAICHO a.k.a. DENGYO DAISHI (Tendai Buddhism)

The Founder of Tendai Buddhism!
Saicho (a.k.a. Dengyo Daishi, 767 – 822) was a Japanese Buddhist monk credited?with founding the Tendai school in Japan, based around the Chinese Tiantai?tradition he was exposed to during his trip to China beginning in 804.
He founded the temple and headquarters of Tendai at Enryaku-ji on Mt. Hiei?near Kyoto. He is also said to have been the first to bring tea to Japan.
After his death, he was awarded the posthumous title of Dengyo Daishi.
The school that he established produced a lot of number of great historical monks. And especially, Tendai school was completed by his pupils after his death.

Head temple of Tendai Buddhism!
Enryaku-ji is the head temple of Tendai Buddhism at Mt. Hiei in Shiga, Japan.
It’s one of the largest temple. It’s the temple such as Buddhism university.
Because Enryaku-ji produced many famous monks (Ennin, Enchin, Genshin, Hounen,?Shinran, Eisai, Dougen, Nichiren).

Other main temples
Shoren-in, Kanei-ji, Chuson-ji, Rinnoh-ji, Jindai-ji, Onjou-ji, Saikyo-ji and so on…

Pilgrimage is still popular among temples related with Tendai and Shingon Buddhism (followers of any religions can join this pilgrimage).

Saigoku 33 palces, Bando 33 places and Chichibu 34 places (total 100 Kannon) are popular among followers.
Saigoku is the Kansai area (Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Wakayama and Hyogo pref).
Bando is the Kanto area (Tokyo, Chiba, Ibaraki, Saitama and Kanagawa pref).
Chichibu is the northwest of Saitama, Chichibu chain of mountains.
These pilgrimage is mixed with Shingon and Tendai temples.

KUKAI a.k.a. KOBO DAISHI (Shingon Buddhism)

The Founder of Shingon esoteric Buddhism!

Kukai, also known posthumously as Kobo Daishi (774 – 835), was a Japanese monk, scholar,?poet, and artist, founder of the Shingon or “True Word” school?of Buddhism.

In 7th and 8th century, Japanese knew Buddhism fragmentary. So, Imperial house decided to send some monks to Tang dynasty to study Buddhism perfectly. Kukai was one of them.
As he was excellent student, he was appointed as successor of Shingon Buddhism from Chinese monk, Hui-kuo. Therefore, orthodox Shingon Buddhism moved to Japan.
After returning to Japan, he propagated perfect Buddhism, he contributed to Japanese Buddhism.

Shingon Buddhism head temple.

Shingon Buddhism’s head temple is Kongobuji temple at Mt. Koya in Wakayama, Japan.
It’s one of the largest temple. It’s the place where Kobo-Daishi is living at there still now (religious idea). Kongobuji is the most famous temple, because there are many graves of famous Samurai’s at there. They wanted to go beside Kobo Daishi after death.

Other main temples.
Kyouou Gokoku-ji, Daigo-ji, Daikaku-ji, Ninna-ji, Chishaku-in, Negoro-ji, Hase-dera, Shinsho-ji and so on…

Pilgrimage is still popular among temples related with Shingon Buddhism (followers of any religions can join this pilgrimage).

Especially, Shikoku 88 places pilgrimage is the most famous.
Pilgrims make a?pilgrimage to 88 temples in Shikoku district (Kukai’s birth area). Pilgrims are?called “Ohenro-san”, they wear white costume.

Other pilgrimages;
Saigoku 33 palces, Bando 33 places and Chichibu 34 places (total 100 Kannon) are popular among followers.
Saigoku is the Kansai area (Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Wakayama and Hyogo pref).
Bando is the Kanto area (Tokyo, Chiba, Ibaraki, Saitama and Kanagawa pref).
Chichibu is the northwest of Saitama, Chichibu chain of mountains.
These pilgrimage is mixed with Shingon and Tendai temples.