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Okuyama Houkouji Temple and
The Five Hundred Arhats

Rakans, officially called Arhats, are disciples of the Buddha who have attained enlightenment.
According to sutras, Arhats exist to protect the Buddha Dharma.
There is also a legend that when the founder of Houkouji Temple was training in China and making a tea offering at a stone bridge on Mount Tenntai, an Arhat appeared and blessed him.
In 1770, at the request of the monk, Igan of Houkouji Temple, five hundred arhats were placed throughout the temple grounds. It is said that "among the 500 arhats, there is always a face that looks like yours," and that if you find it, you will be blessed with longevity.

Why don't you look for an arhat that looks like you when you visit Houkouji Temple?
Since the beginning of the Heisei era, the project of dedicating arhats has resumed, and now there are about 1,000 arhats watching over the temple grounds.

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