byodo-in Temple(平等院)
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byodo-in Temple(平等院)

1. Location-Access

This temple is located near seaside of Uji-river to offer scenic views by the nobility of Heian period at Uji area.
It takes 30 minutes by JR railway Nara line from Kyoto sta. to Uji, and 10 minutes walking.

2. Who was built this temple?

1) Byodo-in was a villa “Uji-dono” owned by Fujiwara-no-Machinaga before.
But after he was died, Fujiwara-no-Yorimichi, who was Michinaga’s son changed “Uji-dono” to a temple in 1052. This is beginning of Byodo-in.

2) Meison, who was a grandfather of Ono-no-Tofu and top of Enjyo-ji temple founded.
At this temple, the main hall wad located at the North of Phoenix Hall, near shoreside of Uji-river and Byodo-in was sacred to Dainichi Buddha.

3) But Next year Amidado(Phoenix Hall),which was seemed to be Western Paradise.
At the end of Heian period, the belief that Buddhism will widely decline during the latter days of this world.

4) Death of Shakuson of 2000 years, the teaching of Buddha was declined, and man-made disaster had been occurred and the society was felt into disorder.
Byodo-in was first year of “Mappou” that was the Buddhism bagan to decline.

5) At this time, royal families and nobles built temple buildings enshrining Amida-buddha.
In 1020, Fujiwara-no-Michinaga erected Murojuin and from the second half of 11 century to 12 century, the Emperor Shirakawa erected so to say “Rokusyo-in”, which are Sonsho-ji, Saisho-ji, Ensyou-ji, Seishou-ji, Enji-ji around Okaraki in sakyo-ku, Kyoto city.

6) All these garden temple was broken by the battle war and fire and are disappeared.
Byodo-in is the most important existing temples that erected by nobles.

7) There is a statue of Amida Buddha by Joucho, a sculptor, was enshrined as tha main object of worship. The other building, such as the Hokke-do and Goda-do, ahd been built by the beginning of 12th centery, but most of these buildings were burned down in 1336.
The Amida-do, the Kannon-do and the belfry have survined to the present day.

3. What is this temple famous for ?

1) This is the main temple called “Byodo-in Hou-oh-do”. It was called the “Amida-do”.
This temple was recognized as a World Heritage site in 1994.

2) Do you know the Chinese phoenix on the top of the roof seem familiar to you?
The Phoenix is drawn on the back of the 10,000 yen paper money.

3) It comprises a central hall flanked with two wings to the left and right, with another hall forming a tail behind. The main roof of central hall is ornamented at either and with a bronze figure of the phoenix known as a houou

4) The statue of Amida Buddha and many panel painting on the doors and walls inside are designed as Joudo-Tein. It served as the prototype of temple gardens.

5) Its influence was extended too many gardens, such as the Moutsu-uji’s garden in Hiraizumi, Iwate prefecture, and Toba Shoukoumyo-in garden in Kyoto.