The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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provincial temples; 国分寺; (Jpn kokubun-ji ) ; Temples established in the provinces of Japan by an edict Emperor Shomu issued in 741. These temples were for offering prayers for the peace and prosperity of the nation. They consisted of temples for priests and temples for nuns, with one of each located in each province. Formally, those for priests were called "temples for the protection of the nation by the power of the Golden Light Sutra and the four heavenly kings," and those for nuns, "temples for the eradication of past offenses by the power of the Lotus Sutra." The temples for priests were headed by Todai-ji temple and those for nuns, by Hokke-ji, both in Nara. As their names suggest, the Sovereign Kings of the Golden Light Sutra and the Lotus Sutra were recited at these temples.