Since Kobodaishi Kukai established the monastic complex of Shingon Buddhism in 816, Koyasan has 1200-year long history and 117 temples exist on such a remote location. Fukuchi-in is also one of those temples preserving the Shingon tradition brought from China by
Kukai. Fukuchi-in was founded by the priest Kakuin 800 years ago and its principal object is Aisen-myooh, a Buddha for fortune and virtue. Fukuchi-in also has an antique gallery in that the articles left by the historic feudal lord and the historic treasures from the Nara period are stored.
Fukuchi-in’s principal object is Aizen-myo-oh, a Buddha for fortune and virtue. The statue is made of zelkova tree with fine carving and ornaments.
Shigemori Mirei, a garden designer representing the Showa era, left three gardens in Fukuchi-in. The details of the garden with the geometric placement of stones and moss show the characteristics of Mirei’s later years. The gardens of Fukuchi-in are illuminated in evening and present a varied mood through the day.
There is a passage in the ancient Chinese folklore. “Far away in the southern ocean, there is un utopia, called Horai-to (蓬莱島) Island, in which a sanctified sage who has the eternal life lives.”
This garden is named “Aizen-tei (愛染庭)” and derived from Aizen-myo-oh (愛染明王) known as a Buddha of “fortune and virtue.” With its simple structure, the garden seems to be filled up by modest mood.
An ancient Chinese folklore tells us about the life stage of a monk to reach Buddha-hood, like a carp climbing up the water falls and struggling in the torrent becomes a dragon, eventually. The garden has a “dry-falls” and a thick growth of shrubbery as the key feature representing the mountains a sanctified sage lives. In comparison to the distant view based on Chinese folklore, the pond with two small islands in front emphasizes the Japanese old fashion of the garden design with Mirei’s modern technique.