The Gotokuzan Mizusawa Temple, commonly known by the name Mizusawa Kannon, is located in Shibusawa City, Gunma Prefecture. It is a renowned ancient temple representing the Kanto region, famous as the 16th pilgrimage site of the Bando Thirty-Three Kannon. Approximately 1,300 years ago, it was founded by the decree of Empress Suiko and Emperor Jito, with the establishment led by the distinguished Korean monk Ekan Sojo. The name "Gotokuzan Mizusawa Temple" is derived from the imperial brushstroke (goshinpitsu) of Empress Suiko.
The principal deity enshrined in the temple is the Eleven-faced Thousand-armed Kannon Bosatsu, believed to be the sacred image owned by Princess Ikaho, the third daughter of the provincial governor Konobe Ienari. With the blessings of swiftly eliminating seven hardships and instantly granting seven fortunes, the temple has gathered devoted followers. In its early days, the temple complex consisted of over thirty halls and housed over twelve hundred Buddhist images, but it suffered repeated destruction due to fires. The current structures were built during the Daiei era, with a temporary hall erected and a major reconstruction spanning thirty-three years from the Horeki era to the Tenmei era.
Within the temple grounds, the Benten Pond is graced by the presence of Ryuo Benzaiten, and numerous visitors come daily to draw water from the gushing sacred spring. The bottom of the pond sparkles with the offerings of those who come for thanksgiving.
The distinctive feature of Ryuo Benzaiten is the biwa (Japanese lute) held in her hands, placed in a biwa bag. The name "biwa" is said to have originated from the resemblance of its true form to the musical instrument. The golden-shining fruit is considered a symbol of good fortune, representing wealth. Benzaiten gradually became associated with prosperity in both arts and financial matters, and the connection to the biwa (loquat) is one of the reasons behind this. The biwa placed in Ryuo Benzaiten's bag is a symbol of enhancing fortune until the moment it bestows financial and artistic talents upon people, emphasizing the importance of cultivating good luck.