47 akoroshis are widely known in Japan through the story “Chushingura” which describes 47 samurais of Ako ( present Hyogo prefecture ) who avenged their master Asano Naganori by making a raid on his foe Kira Yoshinaka. Two of 47 Akoroshis, Chikamatsu Kanroku Yukishige and Okuda Sadaemon Yukitaka, were brothers of Bunryo who was studying at this temple. Bunryo later became the 6th head bonze of this temple and was named the Great Bonze Chozan.
Bunryo is said to have done all he could to help Akoroshis and it is said that they held many meetings at this temple. The book called “Genroku kaikyoroku” written by Fukumoto Nichinan in the late Meiji period mentions that Kanroku left his last words “Please tell Bunryo in the Chofukuji Temple that I am willing to give my life to avenge the death of my master today”. This temple was originally called the Chofukuji Temple and was renamed the Kannonji Temple in 1716.
The pagoda to the right of the main hall is known as a memorial tower of Akoroshis and people still visit it today. On the upper part of the pagoda was engraved Sanskrit words that stand for the Buddhas in the north, the south, the east and the west. On the lower part, Hokyoindaranikyo ( a sutra ) and on March in 1707, the name of the 6th Head Bonze of this temple Chozan was engraved.
In 1977 (Showa 52), Taito-city and Sumida-city made a siter-city agreement since they are facing over the Sumida River. As a commemoration project, construction of a bridge for pedestrians along Sumida Park was planned and “Sakura Bridge” was completed.
In constructing this bridge, some cherry trees were sent from Washington D.C. The cherry trees of Potomac riverside of Washington D.C. is one of the famous place in the world. The end of Meiji era, Mrs. President Taft visited Tokyo. She was fascinated with the cherry blossoms in Mukojima, and hoped to plant cherry trees in Washington D.C. In response to her wish, Mayer of Tokyo city, Yukio Ozaki presented it to Washington D.C.
After about 70 years, the posterity of cherry trees has returned to the ground in Mukojima.
Awasima-do was built in the late 17th century to worship a god called Sukunahikonona-mikoto who is enshrined at Kada shrine in Wakayama prefecture. This god is famous as a guardian of women. Especially during “needle memorials” when women express gratitude by bringing used sewing needles and sticking them into Tofu (bean curd), the shrine attracts a lot of people.
The two statues are: Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara on the right and Bodhisattva Seshi on the left. They are both 2.36m in height. In 1687, Takase Zenbee from Tatebayashi, ( present day Gunma prefecture ) made these statues to repay the debt of gratitude to the rice wholesaler family who helped him, the Avalokiteshivara for the father and the Seishi for the son.
Bentendo Hall was reconstructed in 1983 on the small hill called “Benten-yama”. The principal image of this temple has white hair. Therefore we call it “Rounyo-Benzaiten”. (“Rounyo” means an old woman and “Benzaiten”, the goddess of music, art and wealth, is the name of the image.) This statue is one of the Three famous Benzaiten around the Kanto district. In the medieval period Hojo, a great daimyo in Odawara, had faith in this statue.
The bell in the belfry has been known as the hour bess casted in bronze by Tokugawa shogunate in 1692, and also famous for a haiku by Matsuo Basyo (1644-94). Nowadays, a priest of Senso-ji strikes at six oclock every morning.
Uryu Iwako was born in Kitakata, Fukushima prefecture on February 15, 1829. Iwako was her popular name, and her real name was Iwa. At the age of nine, she lost her father, and her mother went back to her parents’ home together with Iwa. When she was 14, she was entrusted to her aunt, and was educated by her uncle-in-law, who was a doctor in the Aizu clan.
After the Meiji Restoration, she exerted efforts for the education of young girls in the Aizu clan and also established the Fukushima Relief Facility for the assistance to the poor and orphans. She also founded the midwifery research institute and the Saisei Hospital in Kitakata, thereby promoting social work. She died in Fukushima on April 19, 1897. To praise the good conduct of Iwa, who devoted her whole life to charitable work, this bronze statue of her was erected here in April 1901.
Wooden structure, One-story, Hexagonal style, Light weight tile roofing (a pantile that combines broad concave tiles and semi-cylindrical convex tiles), Lacquered in red, 1.82m inner diameter, 0.91m side lenght(distance between pillar centres)
According to Senso-ji-Shi (chronicle of 1813 edition), Senso-ji-Rokkakudo was built in 1618 and is therefore the oldest architecture in Senso-ji. This building is valuable since hexagonal architectures are rare in Tokyo. It was originally located 21.8m further east (the original location is inscribed on the south podium of Yougou-do), but moved to its current position in October 1994 due to rearrangement.
This pagoda, founded in 942, was rebuilt by Tokugawa Iemitsu in 1648. It burned in 1945 during World War II and was reconstructed in 1973. On that occasion, memorial tablets of devout believers who had passed away were placed in the pagoda’s foundation, and a bone relic of the Buddha presented by Sri Lanka was placed in the topmost story of the pagoda.