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Temples & Shrines

Temples

Byodoin

Area

South




Highlight
Originally founded in 998 in the Heian period as a rural villa, The Chu-do (central hall) houses an 11th century image of Amida Buddha made of Japanese cypress covered in gold leaf made by the Jocho, who is said to be the most skillful sculptur of the Fujiwara era. A full-size replica of the temple was built in 1968 at the Valley of the Temples on O'ahu, Hawaii


Details
"Originally founded in 998 in the Heian period as a rural villa, Byōdō-in is one of the few lasting examples of the architecture of this time. It was established by Fujiwara no Yorimichi in 1052, converting his father's villa into a temple. The main hall got its name during the Edo period, when locals and travellers during the early Edo Period (1603-1868) started calling it Phoenix Hall. This mythical bird was thought to be the protector of Buddha during that time. Others speculate that the hall got its name from the layout of the structure and the geographical location near the pond resembles a bird decending onto a lake. consists of a central hall, flanked by twin wing corridors on both sides of the central hall, and a tail corridor. . The roof of the hall displays statues of the Chinese phoenix, called hōō in Japanese The Chu-do (central hall) houses an 11th century image of Amida Buddha made of Japanese cypress covered in gold leaf made by the Jocho, who is said to be the most skillful sculptur of the Fujiwara era. This sculpture is the only remaining work of his left. Since the statue is three meters in heighth, it is too large to have been carved from a single piece of wood. Jocho perfected the tecnique of yosegi zukuri, in which multiple pieces of wood are carved out like shells and joined together. When viewed from across the pond, it appears to be floating, suspended in the hall. This adds to the mystique of the temple, which is assumed to be a representation of the paradise of the Pure Land. Accompanying this Buddha were 52 worshipping Bodhisattvas suspended on the frieze inside the hall, but half are now located in the museum across the hall. They are the sole surviving group of Buddhist statues we can still see from the 11th century. Each Bodhisattva is carved from a single piece of cypress. Interestingly, the wing corridors seem to serve no purpose, as the ground level is just a collonade, and the upper level has no walls or slides. It may for artistic purpose of balance, or it may have been for court musicians for the aristocracy. To the rear of the Chu-do, the tail section of the structure, was probably built as a passageway to a building that used to exist to the rear. There is a garden with a pond in front of the building, which in 1997 was dredged as part of an archeological dig. Originally, the pond's beach stretched extended to the Uji ground embracing the hall and the garden is said to represent the Buddhist Paradise on Earth. A full-size replica of the temple was built in 1968 at the Valley of the Temples on O'ahu, Hawaii."


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Temples

Byodoin

Area

South

Open

8:30am to
5:30pm

Admission

600 Yen
Highschool & Jr.HS: 400 Yen / Elementary: 300 Yen ; Entry to Hououdou: 300 Yen

Address

116 Renge Uji

Tel No.

077-421-2861

URL

http://www.byodoin.or.jp/


Access

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