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Yasaka koushindo

Name 大黒山金剛寺庚申堂 / Yasaka koushindo
Adress Kinencho390-1, Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 605-0828
Hours Open

Yasaka Kōshin-dō (八坂庚申堂), or in its full name Daikoku-san Kongō-ji Kōshin-dō (大黒山金剛寺庚申堂) is a small temple located in Higashiyama, Kyoto, Japan. The temple can be found in the vicinity of Kiyomizu-dera.

The temple is dedicated to Kōshin-san (庚申さん) a nickname of its main worship object Shōmen Kongō (青面金剛), a blue, guardian warrior and to the “three wise monkeys”. They represent the Kōshin faith.
In Kōshin belief, Kōshin-san is thought to help all those who strive in their livings, with all their efforts to be good persons. He is also thought to punish the bad.
Kukurizaru is the round, ball shaped talisman made of cloth, representing the good faith monkeys.

In many places at the temple hang color balls representing Kukurizaru, a monkey with bound feet and hands. In Kōshin belief, it represents the control of the playful and desire-driven creature everyone has inside his body.

The folk faith says that to have a wish granted, you must sacrifice one desire. If you put your desire inside one of the color balls that represent the monkey Kukurizaru, Kōshin will help you to make that desire vanish and because desires are what keep wishes from coming true, your wish will be granted and you will also become a better person.

It is also said that when you feel a desire coming you must put your hands together and recite the Buddhist sutra: On deiba yakisya banta banta kakakaka sowaka. Kukurizaru and Kōshin-san will hear and will come to help you.

There are old traditions and beliefs regarding monkeys in Japan. Monkeys are considered kind spirits protecting us and our homes from evil spirits and harmful intentions. The three monkeys in the attitude of “not hearing, not seeing, not talking” are a part of the Kōshin faith.


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