March 24, 2013

Honmonji Temple, Part 1

After Ikegami Ume-en proved to be a bit of a disappointment, we decided to visit the temple nearby. It turned out to be a good choice. 

Honmonji Temple was founded just before his death in 1282 by Nichiren Shonin, the Buddhist monk who established Nichiren Buddhism. Much of the temple was destroyed during World War II and was painstakingly rebuilt. The resulting temple and surrounding premises are very impressive taking over a surprisingly vast stretch of land.

The kyozo building above, which houses the Buddhist canon, was built in 1784. This was one of the few buildings that survived the air raids during the War. 

 The administration building run by monks, also fairly massive.

Roof details of the daido Hall. Look closely (or enlarge the photo) and you will see the faces of oni (ogres) on the roof and carved in wood.

More and more onigawara (oni roof tiles) from this angle. Never having noticed them in any other temples I've visited, they were a genuinely startling discovery for me.

These roof tiles have the kanji for "book" molded onto them, which is the also the "hon" in Honmonji Temple.

The florist's was lined with wooden buckets used to carry water (teoke), and the small ladles (hishaku) used to pour it.

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