NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/1/25


栄山寺 Eisan-ji Eisanji Temple

Jp En

Eisanji Temple overlooks the Yoshino River in Nara. It is an ancient temple that conserves the glory and eminence of the Tenpyo even today. It is said that the temple was built in 719 during the Nara period, by Muchimaro, the first-born child of Fujiwara no Fuhito.

The temple was originally called Sakiyamaji during the time that it was first constructed, but as it developed and became part of the Fujiwara family's Bondaiji temple, it was renamed Eisanji.

The main feature of the temple is without doubt the Hakakudo, which was designated as a national treasure. The Hakakudo, as one of the Endo of the Tenpyo period, is a very precious ruin on par with the Yumedono of Horyuji temple. It is said that the Hakakudo was built by Nakamaro, son of Muchimaro, in order to grieve for his father's bodai. The seated figure of the Yakushinyorai (master of healing) located within the temple is also designated as an important cultural property. Moreover, an inscription written in an Ononotou style can be seen on a bell (national treasure), which is acknowledged as one of Japan's three great bells, along with the bell of the Uji Byodoin.

Azalea and yamabuki blossom all over the grounds of the temple from the end of April to the beginning of May, creating a beautiful and vibrant scene.
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2007/1/17


山寺 根本中堂 Yamadera konpontyuudou Yamadera Main Hall

Jp En

The Yamadera Main Hall (Konpon Chudo) is located at the base of the Yamadera temple complex in Yamagata prefecture. The Main Hall is designated as an Important National Cultural Property, and is the only religious school in the Tohoku area. It is also the oldest architecture in Japan that was made using beech wood.

Yamadera is a branch temple of Enryaku-ji on Hieizan in Kyoto and was established by the priest Jikaku in 860. The official name of the temple is Mount Houshu Ryūshaku-ji.

Yamadera is famous for Matsuo Bashō's haiku.

Such stillness
The cries of the cicadas
Sink into the rocks

Within the hall are several statues, including an 800-year-old wooden statue of Bhaisajyaguru (Yakushi Nyorai), said to have been carved by the priest Jikaku. The hall is very large. Because it was built on the mountainside, visitors must climb over 1000 stone steps. Maybe it is better to say mountaineering than sightseeing.

There is much for the visitor to see here, including the Buddha halls, a bronze statue of Bashō, a sacred flame, and a rare Japanese antelope called serow. It is a place where the grandeur of history and nature can be enjoyed together.
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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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