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  Ji-syu

(A Buddhism sect called Ji-shu was founded
by Ippen-Shonin in the 13th century)

Hojuzan

Sennenji in Watari

Since 1606

It is said that Sennenji was founded about 700 years ago in Fukushima Prefecture by Ankoku-Shonin the fifth.  In 1606, Sennenji was constructed at this place on the order of feudal lord Shigezane Date, for the purpose to invite his teacher Ryozan the 21st who lived in Fukushima Prefecture.


In doing so, the existing statues Amida-Nyorai and Kannon-Bosatu were reportedly carried a long way from Fukushima to Watari. Attendants carried these statues on their back and climbed over mountain peaks between the border of Fukushima and Miyagi Prefectures.


About Sennenji


Sennenji has been in existence for more than 400 years since it was constructed in 1606.

All that while, Sennenji was a spiritual safety place for Dankasan, who are the supporters of their family temple.

During the last 400 years, the temple has suffered from fires several times.

However, it was repaired a number of times, and our ancestors did not make big changes to its appearance.

 

Sennenji free day care nursery
opened during the busy farming season.
Photographed around the year of 1930. 

Sennenji free day care nursery
opened during the busy farming season.
Photographed around the year of 1930. 

Temple  Gate

Current main gate of Sennenji
One of the main gates of Watari-Castle exists as a main gate of Sennenji.
It was removed and reconstructed at the current location in the late 19th century.
The main gate of Sennenji photographed
at the beginning of the 20th century.
The main gate of Sennenji photographed
at the beginning of the 20th century.

Stone Buddhist Images

Walk through the Sennenji main gate,
 several old stone buddhist images will come into our sight.


O-Jizo-sama
ーthe guardian deity of childrenー
It is said that this Ojizosama was founded in the memory for children who died of measles around 1801~1804.  Since then, this statue has been watching children affectionately for more than 200 years.
Koshinto
ーWishing for a long lasting life,
for escaping from infectious diseases
and for the prosperity of descendantsー

Founded 300 years ago in 1716.



It is unclear when these stone statues were built.
No matter when it was built, it is quite clear that they stood more than several hundred years and watch over us who walk through the Sennenji temple gate.
It is unclear when these stone statues were built.
No matter when it was built, it is quite clear that they stood more than several hundred years and watch over us who walk through the Sennenji temple gate.

Haiku Poem and Sennenji 


---Haiku gathering was often held in sennenji  until the 1960s.---

Framed Haiku-Kai
(haiku poem gathering) poems
on the 4th of January, 1900

Framed Haiku-Kai poems
on the 7th of March, 1915

Framed Haiku-Kai poems
on the 9th of January, 1972

A commemorative poem monument
of Jyoun Kono*

      *Jyoun Kono   (1887-1974)was a Jisyu monk and a Japanese
        poet.  His mentor was Kyoshi Takahama, one of the famous
        poets in Japan.
    Jyoun was the 39th  chief priest of Sennenji (1920-1923).

Photo taken in front of the Jyoun Kono's Poem Monument:
the monument is inscribed
with Jyoun's poem.

Jyoun is the third person from the right in the back row. 
Framed Haiku-Kai poems
on the 7th of March, 1915

Construction of the Sennenji

Spring in full bloom in the Sennenji garden.

Discussions for constructing the main hall of Sennenji were started more than a half century ago. Construction of the temple was not fulfilled because of the huge cost.

According to the Danka system, all family members belong to their family temple and thus have a responsibility to their temple.  It means for the Danka system, family members have to pay for the cost of repair or reconstruction of the temple.

Since the temple's construction, it has been strongly damaged by three major Earthquakes, Miyagi-Oki Earthquake in 1978, Miyagi-Oki Earthquake in 2005 and the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.  Considerable repairs have been enacted, such as using iron struts to provide column support. 

In 2017, at the annual meeting, one of the Danka members stood up and inquired why we don't reconstruct the temple instead of spending large amounts of money for repairs.  Everything turned around, and it was the moment that things began to move along the new course of construction.

In 2019, at the annual meeting, the construction committee made a practical proposal for constructing the temple. In the middle of December, in the same year, the committee sent a prospectus to each Danka.

Discussions for constructing the main hall of Sennenji were started more than a half century ago. Construction of the temple was not fulfilled because of the huge cost.

According to the Danka system, all family members belong to their family temple and thus have a responsibility to their temple.  It means for the Danka system, family members have to pay for the cost of repair or reconstruction of the temple.

Since the temple's construction, it has been strongly damaged by three major Earthquakes, Miyagi-Oki Earthquake in 1978, Miyagi-Oki Earthquake in 2005 and the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.  Considerable repairs have been enacted, such as using iron struts to provide column support. 

In 2017, at the annual meeting, one of the Danka members stood up and inquired why we don't reconstruct the temple instead of spending large amounts of money for repairs.  Everything turned around, and it was the moment that things began to move along the new course of construction.

In 2019, at the annual meeting, the construction committee made a practical proposal for constructing the temple. In the middle of December, in the same year, the committee sent a prospectus to each Danka.

Many discussions and deliberations occurred prior to the construction of the temple and an enormous amount of encouragement has been sent to the committee from Dankasan.  A sampling of the comments follows.

Thank you very much and we really appreciate your interest.

  • Sennenji is our ancestors’ place, and also the place where we will be buried.
  • Our generation has to construct the temple.  It is not a good idea to pass this duty on to the next generation.
  • I will manage some money from my pension.  It might take 5 years but I will do my best. For me, seeing this project to completion is very important.
  • My grandson will help me manage the donation.
  • It is not easy to donate.  I think this is the time our mind is tested.
  • When we get older, we have no hope.  But now I have a dream. I am looking forward to looking up a new main hall of Sennenji.
  • My grandmother used to say that it is much more meaningful for people like us, who have difficulty covering living expenses, to make a donation.  I couldn’t understand the real meaning of this statement until now. That’s why I will try my best.  

 

 

The challenge for a small temple, in a small regional town, has just started.  It is not an easy project if we understand the context around it.

Japanese small towns have a big problem with an aging society and a low birthrate.  Furthermore, our peoples' mindset has greatly changed.

Most Japanese people used to honor their ancestors and visit their family tomb frequently.  This means that people take great care of the temple where their family tomb is located.  In some sense, honouring ones' ancestors used to be part of Japanese culture.  But, recently, some people do not respect the family tomb or the temple at which the tomb is located. Some people do not show gratitude to their ancestors.  Also, some people do not have descendants or cannot find their child who can look after their family tomb.

In this milieu, two questions arise.  Can the monetary goal be achieved in three years? Can the project be completed?

We would like to share the whole process of the temple construction on this homepage.  When the project is completed, we will proudly introduce you to our new temple as a fruit of our Dankasans' hopes and efforts.

In the process, we might encounter many obstacles.

It will be a great pleasure if you cheer us on and give us timely encouragement.
                                                                                                           (2020.3.21)

One evening during the Obon week

Seasonally blooming flowers in the Sennenji garden

cherry blossom
  crepe myrtle
  fragrant olive
  fragrant olive


hydrangea
hibiscus syriacus
double cherry blossoms
japanese beautyberry
double cherry blossoms

Access to Sennenji

By Train
          30minutes from Sendai Station to Watari Station on the Joban Line
              19 minutes walk from Watari Station
to the Sennenji temple

   〒989-2351  
11 Kanmachi, Watari-cho, Watari-gun,
 Miyagi Pref., Japan
☎ 0223-34-1718