NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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埼玉 平林寺 Saitama Heirin-ji Heirinji Temple

Jp En

Heirinji Temple in Nobitome, Niiza City, Saitama Prefecture is a temple of the Myoshinji school of the Rinzai sect. The main object of worship is Shakamuni-butsu (Sakyamuni Buddha). It was originally built in the town of Iwatsuki (present-day Iwatsuki-ku in Saitama City) in 1375 by Ota Shami Untaku. Kaizan (the priest who founded the temple) was Sekishitsu Zenkyu. In 1663, Matsudaira Nobutsuna, the lord of the Kawagoe domain, made it his family temple and ordered his son, Terutsuna, to move it to the present place. It first belonged to the Kenchoji school, then to the Daitokuji school and finally to the Myoshinji school.
The temple building with Japanese maple trees in the precinct stands just like old times. In spring the precinct is covered with cherry blossoms. As the place which still has the ambience of the old Musashino copse, the area around the temple was designated as a National Natural Monument in 1967.
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南宗寺 Nanshuji Nanshuji Temple

Jp En

The history of Nanshuji Temple dates back to 1526 when Kogaku-Soko, the chief priest of Daitokuji Temple in Kyoto, named a small ashram in Sakai “Nanshu-an.” Later in 1557, Nagayoshi Miyoshi built a temple to hold a memorial service for his father, Motonaga, and renamed it Nanshuji Temple. The temple had been burned down twice during the Warring States period; however it was rebuilt by Priest Takuan Soho. It is said that Japanese tea ceremony statrted at this temple. Famous tea masters, Takeno Jouou and Sen-no-Rikyu also studied the way of tea at this temple. In the precinct are the graves of Sen family, which remind us of Rokyu’s life. The stone garden in karesansui style is a nationally designated fine garden. The main hall in Zen style architecture in which the principla image of the Shaka sanzonzou (Shaka triad) is worshiped, San-mon (the main gate), and Kara-mon (the gate in Chinese style) are national designated Important Cultural Properties.
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一休 Ikkyuu Ikkyuu

Jp En

Ikkyuu was a Zen priest from the Daitokuji sect of Rinzai lineage in Muromachi period (1338-1573). His birth name was Soujun, which he later changed to Ikkyuu. He also used the sobriquet, Kyouun or Crazy Cloud.  Ikkyuu was born in 1394 in Kyoto. He is said to be an illegitimate son of Emperor Gokomatsu. Later in life he took a very different path than when he was younger and was regarded a prodigy for his intelligence and talent. In his twenties he denounced the establishment and  religious precepts and lived his life as an eccentric priest. Ikkyuu became an acolyte at Ankokuji at the age of six. He was a gifted child especially in poetry writing and became well known in Kyoto city. However, at the age of twenty, he attempted suicide. After a difficult period of depression lasting several years he recovered and was said to be enlightened upon hearing a crow’s caw. He was twenty six at the time. Now his life took a turn and he left his temple and lived among ordinary people, partaking in worldly pleasures including drinking and eating meat. His relations with women, especially to a blind woman called Mori in his last years, and his breach of all sorts of Buddhism precepts surprised and amused people. It wasn’t until much later when his idea of Fuukyou, in which denying religious precepts was also a way towards enlightenment, became accepted as a true Zen Buddhism teaching and his poetry and calligraphy became highly regarded. He died in 1481 aged 88. He wrote several important works including Kyouun-shuu (Crazy Cloud Anthology).
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