The seated statue of Amida Nyorai
(The principle image of Mikenji Temple)
(courtesy of Tōdaiji Temple)

Mikenji Temple

Temple of Risshū, a Buddhist sect, located in front of Sahoyama Minami-no-misasagi (a mausoleum of Emperor Shōmu). This temple had been under control of Kaidanin of Tōdaiji Temple, with buildings such as the Main Hall, Kannondō Hall, Taisidō Hall, Tahōtō Tower, and Shōrō Bell Tower. Allegedly, it was founded by Emperor Shōmu (701 – 756 < the reign: 724 – 749>), and called Chōbōji Temple in ancient times, but on April 2 of 958, as some remains of Buddha were found between the eyebrows of the Buddha statue that is the principal image, it was named Mikenji Temple by the emperor’s order. It was because miken in Japanese means between the eyebrows. The temple was abolished by the anti-Buddhist movement that spurred at the beginning of the Meiji Era (1868 – 1912), so the Buddhist statue that is the principle image has been moved to Tōdaiji Temple.