Jokanji temple

Jokanji was a tiny temple by the river bank of Sanya-Bori canal which ran through the fields in the north of Yoshiwara, famous prostitution area authorized by Tokugawa shogunate.

The temple was widely known as Nagekomi-dera, temple for the dead prostitutes to be thrown in, throughout Tokugawa period. In the great earthquake of Ansei in 1854, numberless prostitutes were killed by the disaster and carried into this temple to be buried.

The misery of prostitutes in Edo were indescribable. They were sold by their own parents as prostitutes in their early ages and most of them could not survive to thirty.

There was a sorrowful phrase a prostitute said to herself.

"I was born to live in the hell
and to be buried in Jokanji temple"

The temple might have been her asylum acquired after her death.
The word "Jokanji" means in Japanese "The temple of serene silence".

Stone Buddha praying for the
peace of souls of those who
were buried alone.(Above)

The cemetry in the precincts.

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