Hoonji Temple is a temple with a long history that is said to have been built in 1394. The highlight of the temple is the statues of 500 Buddhist disciples (rakan). The 500 rakan are the images of the 500 disciples who gathered here from different places after the death of Buddha. The statues portray realistic expressions that make them lifelike.
As you enter the gate, the Rakan-do hall is on the left-hand side of the main hall (Hon-do). It is said that the 500 rakans of Hoon-ji Temple were made by nine Buddhist masters in Kyoto over the span of four years from 1731, all of which are made of lacquered wood using a yoseki-zukuri technique (a joined-block technique). There are 499 surviving rakan statues, but it is said that it is rare in Japan to have such a large number of wood carvings, and they have been designated as a Tangible Cultural Property by the city of Morioka. The clothing of the statues is associated with monks from India, the West, and China, and are characterised by their rich international features as some are said to be statues of Marco Polo and Kublai Khan.
Looking at each statue, some appear to be dozing, others seem to be making idle chit-chit with each other, while others have blank expressions. All of them are lifelike and humorous. They are so real that you can almost hear them talking. Why not drop by for a visit and see if you can't find a rakan statue that looks like you or someone you know?
- Viewing of rakan statues: Adults: 300 yen, elementary school students: 100 yen
- Opening Times
- ● About 15 minutes by bus from JR Morioka Station
● About 15 minutes from Morioka Interchange on the Tohoku Expressway
- Car Park
- Reviews (TripAdvisor)
- Hoon-ji Temple
- Telephone Number