No.140, Jianxing Rd., North Dist., Taichung City 404, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Established in 1927, Paochueh Temple venerates Gautama Buddha as the primary deity, and the seven-floor-tall golden statue of Maitreya* is the dominant landmark of the temple. Master Zongxin (宗心法師), the fourth abbot of Paochueh Temple, was studying Buddhism in Japan for many years and has built a great relationship with the local Buddhist society ever since. He even managed to bring back to Taiwan the relics of Xuanzang (玄奘), an outstanding Buddhist monk in the Tang dynasty, and to keep them in Xuanzang Temple in Sun Moon Lake. Master Zongxin is much loved for his great contribution, and Paochueh Temple therefore becomes a bridge between the Buddhist societies in Taiwan and Japan.
In order to show gratitude to America who offered a helping hand after the war and to then-President Chiang Kai-shek who treated Japan with generosity and magnanimity, a policy popularized with the slogan “repay evil with kindness,” the Japanese government gave each country a historic statue of Guanyin as a present. It is believed that if those who have bad dreams pray to the statue, their bad dreams will cease to be and instead be replaced by joyous, beautiful dreams.
During the World War II, many Japanese soldiers were killed in Taiwan, but their remains were not claimed. Master Zongxin proposed to consolidate these war dead into the columbaria of Paochueh Temple and to pay tributes to these fallen soldiers every December.
* Maitreya, the successor to the present Buddha, Gautama Buddha, often carries a stick with a bundle tied to the end of it or has a sack thrown over one shoulder. His depiction as a stout, smiling or laughing bald man in robes with a largely exposed pot belly stomach gives him another name Laughing Buddha, which symbolizes happiness and good luck.