NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/10/4


日蓮 Nichiren Nichiren

Jp En

Nichiren was a Buddhist monk in the Kamakura period (1192-1333) and the founder of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism. Born in Awa province (present-day Chiba Prefecture) in 1222, Nichiren began his Buddhist study at a nearby temple, Seichoji, at the age of 12. He was formally ordained four years later at 16. Then he visited temples in Nara and Kyoto including Shitennoji Temple and Koyasan Kongobuji Temple for more in-depth study. Through the study of Nenbutsu (Buddhist invocation), Zen and Shingon (esoteric practice), he became convinced of the pre-eminence of the Lotus Sutra. In 1253, he founded his own sect of Buddhism at Seichoji Temple and recited “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo” for the first time. He changed his name to Nichiren, wherein the kanji character for nichi (日) means “sun” and that for ren (蓮) means “lotus.”

In 1260, he wrote “the Rissho Ankoku Ron (Treatise on securing the peace of the land through the establishment of the correct),” in which he criticized all the other sects of Japanese Buddhism. It prompted a severe backlash, especially from among priests of other Buddhist sects and the Kamakura Shogunate. Nichiren was harassed and exiled four times in his life. When he was exiled to Sado, an island in the Japan Sea, he wrote two of his most important doctrinal treatises, “the Kaimoku Sho (On the opening of the eyes)” and “the Kanjin no Honzon Sho (The object of devotion for observing the mind in the fifth five-hundred year period).” It was also during his exile on Sado, in 1272, that he inscribed the first Gohonzon, the mandala that he intended as a graphic representation of the essence of the Lotus Sutra.

Nichiren spent the rest of his life at Minobu, where he and his disciples erected Kuonji Temple and he continued writing and training his disciples. In 1282, Nichiren died in Edo (present-day Tokyo). The Japanese imperial court awarded Nichiren the honorific designations “Nichiren Daibosatsu (Great Bodhisattva Nichiren)” in 1358 and “Rissho Daishi (Great Teacher Rissho) in 1922.
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2007/2/19


仏隆寺 Buturyuu-ji Butsuryuji Temple

Jp En

Butsuryuji Temple is a Shingon Buddhist temple located in Uda, Nara. It is a branch temple as well as the south gate of Muroji Temple.

The temple was founded in the third year of the Kasho period (850) by the priest Kenne and is said to have been originally a house belonging to Shuen, an officer of Kofukuji Temple.

There is an 11-faced Kannon bosatsu statue in the center of the temple, which is reputed to have been made by Shotoku Taishi. The temple also holds the remains of a rare pyramidal-roofed stone hut: the grave of Kenne.

This temple is famous for being the place where Japanese tea was first made. Kenne planted tea leaves that Kukai, his master, had brought from China. Here are the remains, too, of a millstone that Kukai brought back from China.

The flight of stone stairs leading up from the gate is one of the most famous in Japan: in spring, 900-year-old cherry trees welcome you, while in autumn, red clusters of amaryllis add color along the way to the temple. The views are beyond words.
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2007/1/8


薬王寺 Yakuouji Yakuoji Temple

Jp En

Yakuoji Temple is situated on Mt Iozan, and belongs to the Koya school of the Shingon sect. It is located at Hiwasa-cho, Kaifu-gun, Tokushima Prefecture. The temple is dedicated to the Medicine King Yakushi Nyorai (Bhaisajyaguru in Sanskrit).

The monk Gyoki, at the request of the Emperor Shomu, erected Yakuoji in 726 (Jinki 3). The temple was opened in 815 (Kounin 6), when Kobo Daishi carved the image of Yakushi Nyorai by order of the retired Emperor Heijo.

It is the 23rd temple on the Shikoku pilgrimage, and is also known as the temple for expelling evil. The temple’s formal name is Jigou Muryo-Jiin Iozan. This title indicates Buddhist concepts of infinite life and refers to the Medicine King, or the Medicine Buddha.

Yakuoji is regarded as the main temple of the Kouya school of the Shingon sect. Here, the emperors Saga and Junwa prayed to expel evil, while in the second year of the Karoku period, the retired Emperor Tsuchimikado stayed here. The Emperor Gosaga rebuilt the temple in the first year of the Kangen period and the prince Jinsuke had preached at the rebuilding ceremony of the temple.
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NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - 日本語に切り替える NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - to english

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