People usually visit the Seven Gods of Fortune from south to north, so Tamonji, where Bishamonten is worshiped, is the last place to visit in order.
The temple was once called "Daikyozan Myo-o-in Gudenji" and dedicated to Fudo Myo-o at first, but in the Tensho era (1573-1592), the chief priest Bankai Shonin got a divine message in a dream and converted the honzon (principal image) to Bishamonten, and then renamed it "Sumidasan Kisshoin Tamonji".
Though the temple used to be located at Tamonji Yashiki, the site near Sumidagawa Shrine, it was transferred to the place where it is now during the Tensho era (1573-1592). The building was constructed in 1606, and it is said that its honzon, the statue of Bishamonten was made by Kobo Daishi (Kukai).
Going through the thatched San-mon (Mountain Gate), there is a stone that is engraved with the word "Tanuki Duka (Raccoon dog Mount)." According to a legend, once upon a time when the temple was surrounded with plenty of trees and grasses, a couple of old raccoon dogs lived near an old pine tree in front. They sometimes scared the villagers and played pranks around. They talked with the head priest and cut down the pine, but the raccoon dogs behaved worse and worse. The priest in trouble deeply prayed to the honzon Bishamonten. Then, in a night, he had a dream that one of Bishamonten's disciples, Zennishi Doji appeared and defeated the raccoon dogs with a treasure club. Next morning, the two raccoon dogs were found dead in the garden, and they made a tombstone on the place where they were buried; this is Tanuki Duka. Due to Tanuki Duka, the temple is also called Tanuki Dera. Besides, over the inner entrance of the "kuri (living quarters)" building, there is an interesting "singing ceiling," which must be worth trying.
As its honzon is Bishamonten, the temple became counted as a place of the Seven Gods of Fortune during the Bunka era (1804-1818). The introductory monument saying "Bishamonten"on the left side of the Mountain Gate was a calligraphy of Enomoto Takeaki, who once dwelled in Mukojima.
Tamonji was not damaged by either the Great Kanto Earthquake or the Pacific War, so it is one of Sumida Ward's rare temples that remain as they were before. Especially, the thatched Mountain Gate, which was destroyed by fire and rebuilt immediately after that in 1718, is the oldest building in Sumida Ward.
Bishamonten was originally a Hindu god and is also called Tamonten. He is one of Taishakuten's subordinates and in charge of protecting the north from Mount Shumisen. Dressed in armor and a helmet, carrying a weapon, he is characterized by his brave figure.
He possesses a huge mass of treasure of all over “the three worlds” and gives them to people who do good deeds. There are, however, very few such good people in the world, so he cannot manage his treasure and has to burn away about three times as much treasure as Mt. Shumisen every day.
As a courageous god, Bishamonten has often been worshiped by warriors since ancient times. Uesugi Kenshin was especially known as a passionate devotee of him and used a flag banner on which his first kanji character "Bi" was printed.