In 1524, the holy priest Nisshū 日秀 carefully wrote down the aji letter on stone monument and erected it at the seashore of Nami-no-Ue to inform the people about the meaning of attainment of Buddhahood during life.
But since there was no temple hall protecting it, the monument was exposed to wind and rain year after year and there was concern that it might be destroyed.
Coming this year 1697, Raiken 頼賢 – the chief priest of the Gokokuji 護国寺 temple – asked the inhabitants for support. With the funds a stone hall was built and the aji-monument enshrined inside. This was named the ‘Stone-hall of the Great Sun-Buddha’ (Dainichi-nyorai-dō 大日如来堂).
Note: The aji 阿字 or “letter a” is the first letter in the Sanskrit alphabet. In esoteric Buddhism it is a symbol for the source of all things.
© 2016, Andreas Quast. All rights reserved.