Nanzoin Temple at Tokyo


Narihira-san Tοsen-ji (or Nanzoin) is a Buddhist temple in Katsushika, Tokyo, near the Mizumoto Park.
It was founded in 1348 and the current complex is a post-war reconstruction. This temple is famous for the “Bound Jizo” discussed in the Case of the Bound Jizo of Ooka Tadasuke, a famous judge in Edo (Tokyo) during the Edo period.

Visitors at the temple make a wish to the Bound Jizo (the stone statue of Jizo Bosatsu) and they bind it with ropes. When the wish is fulfilled, they unbind it.

Case of the Bound Jizo
In The Case of the Bound Jizo or Suspect Statue, Οoka Tadasuke was called upon to discover the thief of a cartload of cloth from a local kimono maker. Οoka ordered a statue of Jizo of the Narihira-san Tοsen-ji, a temple in Tokyo, to be bound and brought forth to be called to answer for dereliction of its custodial duty. When the bound statue arrived in the courtroom, the spectators burst into laughter. Οoka sternly ordered each spectator to be punished with a token fine for their outburst. Each was ordered to provide a small swatch of cloth as a fine. When the spectators paid their fines, the robbed kimono maker identified the piece of cloth from one spectators as identical to the cloth stolen in the crime. The spectator, who was the actual thief, was arrested, and Ooka ordered the Jizo statue released as having discharged his duty. In 1925, the statue was removed from downtown Tokyo to Nanzin on its outskirts. The statue still stands, and is wrapped in rope tied by hopeful victims of thieves. However, the statue is worn almost smooth because of over 200 years of binding. (Τext from wikipedia)

Address: 2-28-25 Higashi-Mizumoto, Katsushika-ku, Tokyo.
Access: About 15-min walk from Kanamachi Station of the JR Joban Line or the Keisei Kanamachi Line.

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Author – photographer. Co-founder of Japanbyweb.com.