Japan69 Kyoto11 Nishi Honganji Temple

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YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THIS PRESENTATION HERE: http://www.slideshare.net/michaelasanda/japan69-kyoto11 Thank you! Nishi Honganji Temple is a large temple compound located north west of Kyoto Station with many beautiful buildings of historical and architectural significance. It is one of two head temples of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism in Kyoto. Both of these temples are called Honganji, and so are distinguished by their location: Nishi Honganji being the western temple, and Higashi Honganji being the eastern temple.

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JAPAN Kyoto Short but sweet touching trip 11

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Nishi Honganji Temple is a large temple compound located north west of Kyoto Station with many beautiful buildings of historical and architectural significance. It is one of two head temples of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism in Kyoto. The Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism was founded by the monk Shinran who lived from 1173 to 1263. Nishi Honganji is the head temple of the Honganji faction of the Jodo-Shin sect with over 10,000 subtemples across the country and 200 temples overseas.

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The Karamon is a gate of Nishi Hongan-ji

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The Amida-do or Amida Hall is the main worship hall, or hondo, of the Nishi Honganji temple

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The Amida-do or Amida Hall is dedicated to the Amida Buddha, the most important Buddha in Jodo-Shin Buddhism. Enshrined on the central altar is an image of Amida Buddha, who followers believe has vowed to save all those who call on his help.

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In the left hand side alcove is a portrait of Shinran’s teacher, the monk Hōnen (1133 –1212). Hōnen taught that people who repeat the Buddha’s name will be saved and reborn in the Pure Land Inside the Amida Hall

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In the right hand alcove is a portrait of Prince Shōtoku Taishi (574 – 622) who played such an important role in introducing Buddhism to Japan that he is known as the father of the Japanese Buddhism

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The Hondo is divided into two parts: Naijin (inner­area) and Gejin (outer­area) The Gejin, or “outer­area”, is the seating area of the temple the Naijin, or “inner­area”, is where you will find the Altar

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© 2000-2009  ASANO  Noboru An openwork in a room of Amida-do

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© 2000-2009  ASANO  Noboru A carved structural member of Amida-do of Nishi Hongan-ji

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© 2000-2009  ASANO  Noboru A painting of a Buddhist priest in a room of Amida-do of Nishi Hongan-ji

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The Amida-do or Amida Hall building is also a registered National Treasure

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These are 2 types of TORO you may find in the Gejin. The first is a jar shaped lantern usually attached to walls or pillars. The second is a hexagonal lantern usually hung from the ceiling. Normally, the name of the member who donated these lanterns is engraved on them

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Two  kiko rinto , circular chrysanthemum lamps, hang in front of the shumidan  on either side of the  gohonzo . Their circle of light represents perfect Enlightenment with no beginning or end. The light shines Wisdom and Compassion in all directions of the universe. These lamps are modeled from the lamps Shakyamuni Buddha used. Kiko rinto  lamps are used only in Jodo Shinshu temples.

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A Double Wisteria Crest, the official crest of the Hongwanji (the collective name of the largest school of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism), appears on the front of the koro. The crest consists of two panicles of wisteria flowers, connected at the top by intertwining vines and draping down to form a circle. Unlike other flowers that sit on the top of a stem, wisteria blossoms hang down from vines and, with this unique growth habit, symbolize humility and represent sincere reverence to Amida Buddha

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Wisteria park Japan

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There are several gold covered lamps located around the outer walk of the hall.  You can see the detail of a dragon that has been sculpted into the bottom

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The entire walls can be removed, opening the temple to visitors

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The wooden walkway that connects the Founder’s Hall and the Amida Hall

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The wooden walkway that connects the Founder’s Hall and the Amida Hall details

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Founder’s Hall (Goei-do), the wooden walkway that connects the halls and Amida Hall (Amida-do)

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The large, single space offered by the main hall can be altered according to the need.  The separation between inside and outside is itself in some measure not absolute as entire walls can be removed, opening the temple to visitors

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The Goei-do Hall (Founder´s Hall)

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The Goei-do Hall (Founder´s Hall)

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The Goei-do, or Founder’s Hall, was completed in 1636 and is a registered National Treaure. Above the altar, there is a framed tablet on which the characters 見真 , or “see truth” are inscribed in gold. This is an honorary title that was given to Shinran after his death, by the Emperor Meiji, and the characters are copied from the emperor’s own calligraphy. You can see a similar tablet in the Founder’s Hall at Higashi Honganji Temple too.

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Inside on the central altar there is a wooden statue of Shinran, the founder of the Jodo Shinshu Sect.

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The statue is said to have been carved by Shinran himself, and after his death, some of his ashes were mixed into the varnish. This makes the statue an especially sacred relic for Jodo Shinshu followers

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Hanging lanterns (tsuri-dōrō/ tsuri toro  lamps) hang in front of the  gohonzon . Enclosed and hexagonal, they are modeled after ones Shakyamuni Buddha made for his disciples to use while traveling at night. He added the screens to the sides of the lamps so that, when traveling at night, insects attracted to the flames would not fly into the fire and be killed.

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Two  kiko rinto , circular hang in altar on either side of the gohonzo

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The Main Hall of Nishi Honganji contains priceless sliding screens by the founder of the Kano school of artists and portraits of Prince Shotoku (573-621) and the Buddhist priest Honen (1133-1212)

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There are also many different chambers and the artistic decorations of the halls are mainly the masterpieces of Kano school, one of the most famous painting schools in Japan

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The Goei-do Hall (Founder´s Hall) and the Tiger Room

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Nishi Honganji sliding door picture and sculpture (from Fushimi Castle ruins) The peacock (the Buddhist symbol for wisdom) and pine trees painted on the sliding screens of the inner wall are surmounted by two remarkable openwork Shiro-Shoin (Formal Parlor)

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Beautiful decoration kept outside to the west of the corridor Nishi Honganji is designated an UNESCO world heritage site

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Text: Internet Pictures: Internet Nicoleta Leu Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Presentation: Sanda Foi ş oreanu www.slideshare.net/michaelasanda Sound : Japan Instrumental Music 2016

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