開山 三要元佶（閑室）禅師 開基 徳川家康公
Founder Zen Priest Genkitsu Sanyo（Kanshitsu）
Dedicator shougun Ieyasu Tokugawa
In 1601, shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa built the Enkouji Temple in Fushimi, Kyoto, as a school to promote scholarship in Japan, and invited as its principal Zen Priest Genkitsu (Kanshitsu) Sanyo, who had been the ninth principal of the Ashikaga School in Shimotsuke ( a region near Tokyo). Genkitsu also founded Sangakuji Temple in Hizen ( a region in Kyushu ), his home country, and the Enkouji Temple in Sunpu ( present-day Shizuoka ).
The Enkouji school admitted both monks and laymen as students. Many Chinese classics such as “Koshi-Kego” ( a chronicle of the sayings and doings of Confucius and his disciples ) and “Jogan-Seiyo” ( a book about political morals ) ware published by this school, these were thereafter called the “Fushimi Version” or the “Enkouji Version”. Wooden printing types used for the publications are preserved in the present Enkouji Temple, which are relics of the highest significance for the history of publication in Japan. After its founding, the Enkouji Temple was moved into the premises of the Shokokuji Temple, and then to the present location in Kotani-cho, Ichijoji, in 1667. The principal image of the temple is Kannon ( a Bodhisattva ) with a thousand arms. Legend has it that a renowned sculptor, Unkei, made this figure. The temple also possesses the image of the founder, Genkitsu ( an important cultural asset ), the six-fold screen with a picture of a bamboo forest by a famous painter, Ohkyo Maruyama ( an important cultural asset ). In the garden Suikinkutsu makes a delicate natural sound in a ceramic pot under the ground. Around Seiyu Pond, the oldest pond in northern Kyoto, spring new greens and fall colorful leaves make this garden very attractive.
The Toshogu Shrine dedicated to Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa is also located in these premises. In the graveyard of this temple there are the tombs of Takajo Murayama, and Mr. Omahru, a Malaysian student who died in Japan due to the atomic explosion in Hirosima.