Message from the chief
Koryuji Temple 23rd Chief Priest
Advisor of Daihonzan Eiheiji
(The head Temple)
Welcome to our homepage. I am Shonin Nagai, the 23rd chief priest of Koryuji.
Koryuji is the oldest Soto-Zen temple in Hakodate, which boasts 380-year-long tradition.
Hakodate was the first city which was opened to foreign countries, and Koryuji has taken steps along with the development of the international city of Hakodate.
In those days many pioneers entered Hokkaido, Hakodate was an entrance, and in the era when many denominations promoted Hokkaido indoctrination, Koryuji played a role as its base. There are 41 branch temples which was opened by successive chief priests of Koryuji, and about 180 temples, one-third of the Soto-Zen temples in Hokkaido, are descended from Koryuji.
Buddhism is the teaching to show how we should live. The temple is a place to convey that teaching.
Nowadays, the role of the temple has changed and it has become a place of mourning and memorizing for ancestors, but the role needed for the temple is about to change again.
My master told me, "the half of what temple should do is for the dead and the remaining half is for the living." In Japanese old tales, we often see the scene where some difficulties occur, someone says, "Okay, let's go to the temple and ask the priest." In addition to funerals and ceremonies, I would like to return to the temple that everyone who lives every day visits when they feel like it.
Changing what we should change, maintaining what we should maintain, we would like to pass on this temple and teachings to the future. It is my wish to connect these thankful relations we have from the past to the present to the future, too.
I would be happy if you are interested in and familiar with Koryuji Temple. So would all of the 24 priests belonging Koryuji.
23rd chief priest