History of Ekoin temple
Ekoin is the Buddhist temple belonging to the Jodo-shu founded in 1657, about 360 years ago. It was the year of the Great Fire of Meireki, known by the name of “Furisode Kaji (Fire of the Long Sleeves)”occurred in Edo, and more than 100,000 precious human lives were lost.
Many of victims were unidentified and/or no relatives, but Ietsuna Tokugawa, (the fourth Shogun) ordered to build the temple to bury all of these victims and invoke the Buddha. It was the start of Ekoin.
Gokaicho (Showing of Statue) and Nigiwai (Hustle and Bustle) In the Edo Period, many ordinary people visited Ekoin for daily worship and Dekaicho that exposed Principal images of the famous temples all over the country in Japan to the public.
Dekaicho used to be held at other temples in Edo, but Ekoin was the representative temple that led in number of Dekaicho in comparison with the rest of the temples.
Ekoin and Sumo Wrestling
In the Edo period, people’s major entertainments were Kabuki and Sumo.
Ekoin has a close relationship with Sumo wrestling because it was designated as the place of Kanjin Zumo (sumo wrestling as a charity) aiming at fund raising of temple in the end of Edo Period and “Ekoin Zumo” had been held for 76 years until the end of Meiji period.