Zōshigaya kishimojin is a temple in Ikebukuro that is said to offer divine help with raising children and is therefore visited by many young families.
It is also popular for its bright yellow ginkgo trees and its red torii gates.
The Legend Of Kishimojin
Kishimojin (鬼子母神) is the god of child-rearing from the Lotus Sutra (Nichiren Buddhism).
There is a legend about Kishimojin. Once upon a time, the goddess raised many children. In order to feed them, she kidnapped other human children.
You might think, “What kind of a child-rearing god is Kishimojin?
Humans were afraid of this and asked the Buddha for advice.
The Buddha heard this and hid the most beloved child of Kishimojin. Kishimojin searched all over the world for the child, but could not find it, so she lamented and went to Shakyamuni.
Shakyamuni said to Kishimojin, “Out of all your children (of which there are hundreds), you were grieved and afflicted just because one was missing.
Do you understand how it feels for a parent to have their only child kidnapped? You can understand now, can’t you?”
He returned the child to Kishimojin and after that, he changed his mind and Kishimojin swore to protect the child. He became a god of child-rearing, not a demon.
Incidentally, the kanji character for “oni” in Kishimojin no longer has the first stroke of the character because he is no longer considered an ogre.
The ginkgo tree of 600 years old rises in the temple grounds, and it is called “child-rearing ginkgo”.
The nearest station is Kishibojin and confusingly pronounced with a “b”, not an “m” as the temple is.
kishimojin Temple Information
|Closed||without a holiday|
|Address||3-15-20 Zoshigaya, Toshima-ku, Tokyo|
How To Get To kishimojin temple
- 15 minutes walk from Ikebukuro Station East Exit or Mejiro Station
- or 1 minute walk from Kishibojin-mae Station on Toden Arakawa Line
Things To Do Near kishimojin Temple
- 700m: Zoshigaya Old Missionary House – A building with the characteristics of a 19th-century American house.
- 800m: Seibu and Tobu Department Stores
- 800m Philatelic Museum: Stamps from around the world are exhibited, with a different theme every three months.