Ganjin reached Japan in the eighth century after five failed attempts, each time being blocked by rough seas and eventually losing his eyesight during the journey. He spent the rest of his life in Japan, helping spread the teachings of Buddhism and is widely admired by the Japanese to this day. To eager China watchers, this omission seemed like a subtle signal that the Chinese leader is not so committed to his state visit to Japan, which was originally scheduled for April but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The state-run Xinhua news agency was silent on whether Xi visited Ganjin's temple. He did visit an adjacent graveyard dedicated to those who died in the Chinese Revolution, according to locals.