2016年12月23日

'Hasedera' Buddhist Temple in Kamakura, although the principal buildings of it were leveled in the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, is one of the leading old temples in Kamakura.

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According to the oral tradition, a pair of Buddhist images were carved out of one big trunk of a camphor tree for the sake of Hasedera Buddhist Temple in Nara in 736. One image was for this temple and the other one was washed out to sea. 15 years later, the latter one drifted to the coast of Kamakura and the locals erected Hasedera in Kamakura to enshrine this miracle Buddhist image. This story is untrustworthy though, lots of evidence showing that this temple already existed in the 13th-14th century are found. One piece of those evidence is the inscription of the old temple bell reading that the bell was made in 1264 and the old name of this temple was 'New Hasedera'. The main image of this temple which is said coming all the way from Nara, is difficult to estimate when it was made since too many traces of repair works are found though, it seems to be carved in the 15th century. This temple is built along the hillside, accordingly you can enter from 'Sanmon' gate in the first picture to ascend a flight of the open-air stairs through beautiful gardens up to 'Kannondo' main building as shown in the second picture. The main image of this temple, about 9 meters high, which is one of the largest wooden Buddhist images in Japan, is enshrined in this building.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 13:15 | Kamakura | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年08月09日

The ancient city 'Kamakura', the de facto capital of Japan in the 13th century, is proud of 'Engaku-ji' temple ranked as the second position among the five largest temples in the city.

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The 'Engaku-ji' temple was built by the regent 'Hojo' family to mourn for the death in the Mongolian Expedition against Japan so called 'Genko' in the 13th century. This temple features the impartial memorial service for the war dead on both sides, Japan and Mongol. The 'San-mon' temple gate in the picture above and other major buildings were rebuilt in the 17th and 18th century, while the 'Shari-den' reliquary hall in the picture below, a typical 'Zen' style structure supposed to be built in the 15th century, is designated a national treasure. This reserved building is said to house the feretory of the Buddha although it is not usually open to the public. The sutra chanted by training priests sometimes reaches our ears from adjacent seminary for the Buddhist priesthood.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通訳案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 10:47 | Kamakura | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年08月08日

The 'Kencho-ji' temple in Kamakura is dedicated to 'Jizo-bosatsu' the Guardian Deity of Travelers and Children, unlike many other temples whose principal image on a Buddhist altar is 'Shaka-nyorai' the Incarnation of Truth.

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As it can be easily understood once you visit, the 'Kencho-ji' temple is standing beyond a hill away from the heart of Kamakura, where used be a point of strategic importance. Before the temple was established here in the 13th century, there was a place of execution
called 'Jigoku-dani' literally Hell valley, where a small temple whose principal image on a Buddhist altar was 'Jizo-bosatsu' stood in a lonely manner. In those days, 'Jizo-bosatsu' was regarded as the deity to determine the future of the departed if they could go to Heaven or were obliged to be cast into Hell. In general, a principal image of a prestigious temple is 'Shaka-nyorai' in most cases, however this temple is dedicated to 'Jizo-bosatsu' backed by this historical context.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:50 | Kamakura | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする