NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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護国山 東光寺 Gokokusan-toukou-ji Gokokuzan Tokoji Temple

Jp En

Gokokuzan Tokoji Temple is an Obaku Zen temple founded by Egyoku, a renowned priest from Hagi, in 1691 with the patronage of the 3rd lord of the Choshu domain, Mori Yoshinari. Together with Daishoin Temple, it had been a family temple of the successive lords of the domain.

The two-floor, two-story Sanmon Gate, or also called Gedatsumon (Nirvana Gate), is worth seeing. It was dedicated by the 10th lord Narihiro in 1812. The gate is in Irimoya style with hongawarabuki (with formal tiles), atop of which has hoju (a ball-shaped ornament) with roban (the box-like base structure) for lightening protection. The gate is made of zelkova lumbers, which are joined together without nails. The statues of Birushana Buddha and 18 Rakans are housed on the 2nd floor. The gate as a whole is in almost perfect accordance with the Chinese architectural style.

The temple buildings in the Obaku Zen architectural style are laid out to represent a dragon. The temple is known for possessing a lot of historic treasures, which include Japanese painting by the Unkoku school artists and wooden plaques of mokugaku (a prefecturally designated Tangible Cultural Property), churen, and bohai. In the precinct are the graves of the eleven brave Sonno Joi extremists who were executed in the prison in Hagi and those of Kinno warriors who worked to establish a return of imperial rule. In A lot of people visit the temple for Mantoe (the lantern festival) held in August at the two family temples of the Mori clan, Daishoin Temple and Tokoji Temple, where the illuminated stone lanterns create a mysterious atmosphere.
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寶林寺 Hourin-ji Horinji Temple

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Horinji Temple located in Hosoe-cho Nakagawa, Kita-ku, Hamamatsu City, Shizuoka Pref. is a Zen temple of Obaku Sect. The principal image of worship is Shaka Nyorai. Having become a devoted follower of the Chinese Zen master Ingen, Kondo Sadamoch, who was a Hatamoto enfeoffed the territory in Enshu province, invited a Chinese Zen monk Dokutan, a disciple of Ingen, to this place and dedicated a temple.
At the time of the establishment, the temple was flourished as a training ashram of Obaku Zen school. The seven formal temple buildings and other 20 buildings stood in the precinct of over 16 ha. In the Meiji period, the temple lost the patronage from the Kondo family and many of the buildings were collapsed in the Haibutsu Kishaku (the anti-Buddhism movement).
Both the Butsuden Hall built in 1667 and the Hojo (priest’s residence) built in 1716 are designated National Important Cultural Properties. These buildings are precious examples of the architectural styles of the late Ming Dynasty China, when the Obaku Sect was introduced into Japan.
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萬福寺 Manpukuji Manpukuji Temple

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Manpukuji Temple is located in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture. It is a Chinese-style temple, built in 1661 by the monk Ingen who came to Japan from Fujian, China, at the invitation of Emperor Go-Mizunoo and Tokugawa Ietsuna, who both revered him.

The balcony, which has a swastika ('manji-kuzushi') design, and the arched 'kikabe tenjo' ceiling are just some of the unique features of Manpukuji.

Manpukuji represents one of the three Japanese Zen sects (Rinzai, Soutou and Obaku). Ingen, along with Mokuan and Sokuhi, are the chief abbots of the Obaku Sect.

Another major characteristic of Manpukuji is that the temple itself has not changed since it was first built. The 23 buildings, the corridor, the frames on the windows and doors and many other articles have been designated as Important Cultural Property of Japan.

The Obaku monks have made significant contributions to Japanese society, including constructing the first public library, pioneering rice fields in Chiba Prefecture, and guiding construction of the arch-shaped Kintaikyo bridge in Iwakuni. There are 22 enshrined statues of Buddha of the Obaku Zen sects today. These foreign-style statues differed significantly from Japanese-style ones, but came to influence and alter the image of Buddha in Japan.
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崇福寺第一峰門(国宝) Soufukuji-daiippou-mon(Kokuhou) Sofuku Temple Daiippou Gate (national treasure)

Jp En

ComSoufuku Temple is located in Kajiya Town, Nagasaki prefecture. In 1629, the 6th year of Kanei, Chinese people living in Nagasaki invited a monk called Chonen from their old homeland Fukushu to live there, and built the temple. It is one of the three major Chinese temples in Nagasaki, the others being Kofuku Temple and Fukusai Temple. At that time, Christians were persecuted, so the Chinese people living there built it in order to show they were not Christians. The architectural style of the temple was imported from that of China in the 17th century.  You can appreciate a gorgeous exotic mood which has no competition throughout Japan.

After passing through the San entrance gate, which is a landmark of the Soufuku Temple, you will see 'Daiipo Ggate', a national treasure. It is famous for the beautiful and complex timberwork under the eaves. The timberwork, called Tokyo, has a splendid and richly-colored pattern and the view is exceptional.

For three days from July 26th to 28th in the lunar calendar, many Chinese people living in Japan come together and cerebrate Chinese Bon, the Buddhist ritual where people pray together for their ancestor's spirits. The temple is filled with a celebration of the Chinese spirit during the festival.
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