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Koryuji(which literally means High Dragon Temple), was originally established in Kameda Village(now part of Hakodate, about three kilometers north from current location) in May 1633 by the Reverend Bansitsu Horyu 盤室芳龍, the fourth abbot of Hogenji法源寺 Temple in Fukuyama(now Matsumae town). 

In June 1702, torrental rain caused the Kameda River to flood, and the structure of Koryuji collapsed. After several floods, the temple was moved to Benten-cho(about one kilometer north from current location),during the period of the Reverend Konzan Dokuzen根山独善, the 5th abbot.

In 1854,Japan opened the ports of Shimoda and Hakodate as a result of the Japan-US Amity Treaty. Commodore Perry and his entourage made mention of their impression of Koryuji as follows:

"There is Koryuji Temple(literally High Dragon Temple) in the vicinity of the main street which extends along the bay, it is called that because a great dragon was engraved in the temple structure.This temple has a large structure; we can tell it was a very great temple from its precise decoration and expensive facilities, though it is now deteriorated."

The temple had a role as a temporary accommodation for the Russian Consul and his staff from 1858 through 1860.   

During the Battle Of Hakodate(1868-1869, the last stage of the Boshin War, which was a civil war between Imperial and Shogunate forces), under the command of Ryoun Takamatsu高松凌雲, who was in charge of the health administration of former Japan's Feudal Government Military, the temple became a branch of Hakodate Hospital and treated many casualties regardless of which side they belonged to. However, on May 6th, 1869, the Meiji Imperial Army started to attack Koryuji, and the temple was destroyed by fire.

In 1879, Koryuji was moved to Funami-cho(the current location). By the direction of the Reverend Unrin Daiho雲林大法, the 19th abbot, the main Buddhist structures of Koryuji were rebuilt one by one; their construction was completed in the early 1900s.

Koryuji is a distinguished temple that has 41 brabch temples all over Hokkaido Prefecture. It was a time when missionary activities were promoted by the main Buddhist Denominations in the Meiji era, and many notable Buddhist priests visited Koryuji during their trips around Hokkaido. 

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