Kyozo (sutra repository) of Ankoku-ji Temple
The only architectural national treasure in Hida
Ankoku-ji Temple (a provincial temple for national pacification) on Mt. Taihei, located in Nishimonzen, Kokufu-cho, is an ancient temple of Myoshin-ji Temple of the Rinzai sect, which enshrines the sansonbutsu (three Buddhist deities), including its principle image of shakamuni-butsu (the eternal life of the Buddha), and attendant statues of Monju Bosatsu (Manjusri) and Fugen Bosatsu (Samantabhadra Bodhisattva).
Aiming to achieve public peace in the land on Musou Soseki’s advice, Ashikaga Takauji and Ashikaga Tadayoshi, the brothers who established the Muromachi bakufu (shogunate), having obtained an Imperial edict from retired Emperor Kogon in 1345, established an Ankoku-ji Temple and a Risho-to pagoda for each province. Welcoming High Priest Zuigan from Nanzen-ji Temple in Kyoto, Hida Ankoku-ji Temple was established in 1347, after designating an existing shorin temple, renaming the temple as Ankoku-ji, and converting the temple to the Rinzai sect.
The kyozo (sutra repository) of Ankoku-ji Temple, which was completed in 1408, is the only architectural national treasure in Hida. The building is of a mixed style—mainly Zen with a partly Japanese style.
Hakkaku-rinzo inside the repository is the oldest existing rinzo (rotating bookshelf) in Japan. This bookshelf houses a great collection of sutras (2,000 existing sutra books) obtained from Ming China.