Ohfuna-Kannon-ji History

It is said that Shakyamuni Buddha has practiced Zen meditation under the linden and has realized, and Zen Teaching is succeeded from Shakyamuni Buddha to Bodhidarma through 28 generations of budhas. And then it was transmitted to Japan by Dogen Zenji who is the founder of Eihei-ji Zen Monastery in Fukui Prefecture and Keizan Zenji who founds Soji-ji Zen Monastery in Kanagawaa Prefecture, has spread Dogen Zenji’s Teachings all over Japan and opened Soto Zen Sect. These two Zen Monasteries are the two head main temples of Soto Zen Buddhism. Ohfuna-Kannon-ji is a direct branch temple of the Daihonzan Soji-ji. The principal image of Ohfuna-Kannon-ji is the Kanzenon-bosatsu.

In February 1927, Mr. Kaneko Kentaro, Mr. Tohyama Mitsuru, Mr. Kiyoura Keigo, Mr. Hamachi Tensho and Mr. Hanada Hansuke have made theGokoku-Daikannon-Konryukai; the spread of the mercy of Kannon was assumed a help of the social conditions purification. Fund raising of 150,000 yen for the statue of Kannon’s construction and 50,000 yen for attached facilities was started


On April 14, 1929 the construction was started.
In the Yokohama-Boeki-Shinpoh (Yokohama Trading Newspaper), Construction of the greatest Kannon of Japan is started on the 14th. It is a big reinforced concrete make of 100 meters in the height of the statue pedestal and 330 meters in the height of the body, about twice great image of Buddha statue in Nara Todai-ji Temple.
However, it came to have to change the statue construction, because the ground was the edge of the hill and the stratum where the east side slope seemed to collapse. So the seated figure was changed to the bust, is said.
The world financial panic came so that the contribution isn't collected as much as a plan.  At last in 1934 the project of the Kannon was interrupted.


 The World War II was finished in August 15, 1945. Mr. Tohyama Mitsuru was already dead. So the project of the construction of Kannon began to fall.
In the boom of special demand by Korean War from June, 1950 to July, 1953, Japan revived economic power at a dash, and in this advanced economic growth, the plan of reconstruction of Kannon statues was resumed.
Mr. Nishimura Kiyoshi director in Gotoh Art Museum was called by Mr. Gotoh Keita on December 31, 1953, and received the instruction from Mr. Gotoh, Mr. Makino Ryozoh and Takashina Zenji about the construction of the Ofuna-Kannon.            
The Ohfuna-Kannon foundation sponsored by Mr. Ando Shohjun, Takashina Zenji, and Mr. Gotoh Keita started in November 2nd, 1954 again,
Mr. Ando Shohjun who was appointed of the Minister of Education of Hatoyama Cabinet was dead, after that, Mr. Makino Ryozan who was appointed the Minister of Justice of same Hatoyama Cabinet became a chief representative of sponsors. And the fund raising activities were started . 
Architect Mr. Yoshida Isohachi, the professor of Tokyo Art University, promoted this project in Mr. Yamamoto Toyoichi’s design and guidance while hearing painter Mr. Wada Sanzoh and architect Mr. Sakakura Jyunzho.










 On May 18, 1957, ground-breaking ceremony was held and on April 28th 1960 opening-ceremony was held. All expenses was 40 million yen and some more, is said.
After that, the Kannon image was managed by the Ohfuna-Kannon Organaization, the one of them is Tokyu group (Tokyo Electric Railway Ltd. & 61 companies).  By the donations from the employee of Tokyu, some Buddhist elements were bought. By such a relation, praying service for the development and safety of Tokyu company group is done in every morning.
  The Kanagawa atomic bomb victim's meeting has constructed the memorial cenotaph as a commemoration of 25 years, in August, 1969. Land was provided gratis and the opening ceremony of the memorial cenotaph was held on April 18, 1970.
 The people concerned of the Kanagawa atomic bomb victim   gather in front of this memorial cenotaph at the end of September every year now, and the memorial service is held.
The foundation was founded, and more than 20 years passed. Mr. Nishimura Kiyoshi organized Ohfuna-kannon Tokubetsu-Ijikai with volunteers, and the concrete measure of the management of maintaining firmly in the future was talked about. 
The management of the Ofuna-Kannon oraganaization was taken over by Mr. Goto Noboru who was managing director after Mr. Makino Ryozho who was the chief director was dead in 1961.   Abbot of Daihonzan Soji-ji in Yokohama; Iwamoto Shohshun Zenji assumed the position of the chief director in April, 1971. Those days a requirement of shift to the religious place was raising by the people who visit Ohfuna-Kannon. On December 25, 1979 the foundation of Ofuna-Kannon was decided to become a religious organization.

Due to this, the Ohfuna-Kannon-ji was performed as the Soto sect temple, and authorized by the Kanagawa Prefectural governor on November 20, 1981, and it has been now.