Shonen-ji is a temple of the Jōdo Shinshū (Pure Land) school of Buddhism. It is located in Takachiho Town, Miyazaki, on Kyūshū, Japan's southernmost main island. The Shonen-ji temple complex is situated at the base of Genbuzan mountain, about 12 km outside central Takachiho. It was established there in 1578 by Tanio Yoshimura following the destruction of Genbu-jo, the Yoshimura clan's castle.
Genbu-jo was burned and the principal Yoshimura family members killed when the Christian daimyo, Ōtomo Sōrin, invaded from Bungo Province in the north. According to temple records, Tanio Yoshimura experienced a revelation following the loss of the castle and then committed himself and his successors to a religious life in atonement for the many deaths that had occurred.