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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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