A brief introduction to the Anraku-ji temple
At the beginning of the Kamakura period [AD. 1192-1333] , the Anraku-ji temple was first built by Anraku and Juren. They were the disciples of the Holy Priest Honen [1133-1212] , the founder of the chanting of Namu Amida-Butu ( “I worship thee, Amida Budda”).
Honen’s simple message of salvation was heard with joy by the common people in an age of crisis . that is, in the Kamakura period in which Japanese history entered the first phase of organized feudalism after a long period of aristocratic rule. It was not long, however, before the imperial court became increasingly convinced that the doctrine of the faith sect, which taught the equal salvation for all people, was incompatible with the unity and safety of the society, and finally the persecution was ordered by the retired emperor Gotoba on the pretext that Matsumushi and Suzumushi, the concubines of Gotoba, without permission entered the faith sect of Amida under the guidance of Anraku and Juren. Honen was exiled and both Anraku and Juren were executed . It is remembered as “Persecution in the Kenei’ era”, for such a serious action against the Buddhist community was of rare occurrence in the history of Japan.
After a time the present Anraku-ji temple was re-built for the sake of consoling the spirits of the disciples and concubines.
This is one of the nice-view spot around Kyoto. Many people enjoy hiking around the area. You can s...
Panorama taken inside Heian Shrine (平安神宮; Heian-jingū) in the Sakyo-ku ward of Kyoto, Japan. Heian Sh...
The northern end of the top graveyard at Chion-in (知恩院) temple, in Kyoto, Japan. The temple is built ...
The area in front of Seishi Hall at Chion-in (知恩院) temple, in Kyoto, Japan. The temple is built on Hi...
A bridge over a lily pond at Chion-in (知恩院) temple, in Kyoto, Japan. The bridge leads to a columbariu...
The eight islands of Japan sprang into existence through Divine Intervention.
The first two gods who came into existence were Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto, the Exalted Male and Exalted Female. It was their job to make the land for people to live on.
They went to the bridge between heaven and earth and, using a jewel-encrusted halberd, Izanagi and Izanami churned up the sea into a frothy foam. As salty drips of water fell from the tip of the halberd the first island was formed. Its name was Onogoro.
So far, so good. But when Izanagi and Izanami first met on their island, Izanami spoke to Isanagi without being spoken to first. Since she was the female, and this was improper, their first union created badly-formed offspring who were sent off into the sea in boats.
The next time they met, Izanagi was sure to speak first, ensuring the proper rules were followed, and this time they produced eight children, which became the islands of Japan.
I'm sure you did not fail to miss the significance of this myth for the establishment of Japanese formal society.
At present, Japan is the financial capital of Asia. It has the second largest economy in the world and the largest metropolitan area (Tokyo.)
Technically there are three thousand islands making up the Japanese archipelago. Izanagi and Izanami must have been busy little devils with their jewelled halberd...
Japan's culture is highly technical and organized. Everything sparkles and swooshes on silent, miniaturized mechanisms.
They're a world leader in robotics, and the Japanese have the longest life-expectancy on earth.
Text by Steve Smith.