Historic Monuments and Sites of Hiraizumi

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UNESCO World Heritage Site
Hiraizumi – Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
The pure land garden of Motsu-ji temple
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, vi
Reference 1277
UNESCO region Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 2011 (35th Session)

Hiraizumi – Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land is a grouping of five sites from late eleventh- and twelfth-century Hiraizumi, Iwate Prefecture, Japan. The serial nomination was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011, under criteria ii and vi.[1][2]

Hiraizumi[edit]

For four generations from c.1087, when Fujiwara no Kiyohira moved his headquarters and residence from further north, until 1189, when the army of Minamoto no Yoritomo put an end to the Northern Fujiwara, Hiraizumi served as an important political, military, commercial, and cultural centre.[3][4] Several major temples associated with Pure Land Buddhism were founded and endowed, but the demise of their benefactors and a series of fires contributed to their subsequent decline. When Bashō visited in 1689 he was moved to write, in Oku no Hosomichi: summer grass... remains of soldiers' dreams.[5][6] A series of excavations from the mid-twentieth century onwards combined with references in Azuma Kagami, in particular the Bunji-no-chūmon petition of 1189, and the Shōwa sojō or "monks' appeal" of 1313 from the Chūson-ji archives, has contributed much to the understanding of the sites and the period.[7][8]

Component sites[edit]

Name Type Comments Image Coords
Chūson-ji
中尊寺境内
Chūsonji keidai
Temple Said to have been founded by Ennin in 850; rebuilt by Fujiwara no Kiyohira at the beginning of the twelfth century with a pagoda and the Daichōju-in, a Great Hall dedicated to Amida; fires in 1337 consumed many buildings and temple treasures; unusually, the mummified bodies of Fujiwara no Kiyohira and his heirs were interred at the Konjikidō, the Hall of Gold dedicated to Amida (pictured; National Treasure); the compound is a Special Historic Site[9][10][11] Interior of Konjikido, Chusonji (62).jpg 39°00′07″N 141°06′00″E / 39.00186419°N 141.10007091°E / 39.00186419; 141.10007091 (Chūson-ji)
Mōtsū-ji
毛越寺境内
Mōtsūji keidai
Temple Said to have been founded by Ennin in 850; rebuilt by Fujiwara no Motohira in the twelfth century; its destruction by fire in 1226 was lamented in Azuma Kagami as the loss of a monument 'incomparable in our time'; the tweflth-century paradise garden, with stone-paved stream, pond, pebble beach, peninsula, island, and ornamental stones is a Special Place of Scenic Beauty; the precinct and associated tutelary shrine is a Special Historic Site[12][13][14][15] Mōtsū-ji Suhama.JPG 38°59′26″N 141°06′56″E / 38.99053116°N 141.11545706°E / 38.99053116; 141.11545706 (Mōtsū-ji)
Kanjizaiō-in Ato
観自在王院跡
Kanjizaiōin ato
Temple Founded adjacent to Mōtsū-ji with two Amida Halls by the wife of Fujiwara no Motohira in the twelfth century; destroyed by fire in 1573; its twelfth-century paradise garden with stream, pond, pebble beach, island, and waterfall stone arrangement is a Place of Scenic Beauty[14][16][17][18] Kanjizaiō-in.JPG 38°59′17″N 141°06′37″E / 38.9881789°N 141.11037523°E / 38.9881789; 141.11037523 (Kanjizaiō-in Ato)
Muryōkō-in Ato
無量光院跡
Muryōkōin ato
Temple Founded with a monumental statue of Amida by Fujiwara no Hidehira in the twelfth-century; modelled on Byōdō-in near Kyoto; twelfth-century paradise garden with pond, island and ornamental stones; a Special Historic Site[14][19][20][21] Muryokoin ruins Hiraizumi 2007-01-27.jpg 38°59′35″N 141°06′57″E / 38.99293001°N 141.1158882°E / 38.99293001; 141.1158882 (Muryōkō-in Ato)
Mount Kinkeisan
金鶏山
Kinkeizan
Mountain Summit used for sutra burials; remains of a Hall identified as belonging to Zaō Gongen; associated with the cult of Miroku; an Historic Site[22][23][24] Mount Kinkeisan.JPG 38°59′36″N 141°06′33″E / 38.99335037°N 141.10920153°E / 38.99335037; 141.10920153 (Mount Kinkeisan)

Original submission[edit]

The original 2006 nomination of "Hiraizumi - Cultural Landscape Associated with Pure Land Buddhist Cosmology" included five further sites while omitting that of Kanjizaiō-in as a separate component.[25] Four were removed from the nomination after the failure to secure inscription in 2008; the component site of the Yanagi Palace was excluded from the 2011 inscription, although there are continuing efforts to secure its inclusion through future extension.[26][27]

Name Type Comments Image Coords
Yanagi-no-Gosho Site
柳之御所遺跡
Yanagi-no-gosho iseki
Palace Ruins of the Yanagi (Willow) Palace of the Ōshū Fujiwara clan; an Historic Site[28][29][30][31] Yanaginogosho Site.JPG 39°00′25″N 141°05′58″E / 39.00694103°N 141.09936087°E / 39.00694103; 141.09936087 (Yanagi-no-Gosho Site)
Takkoku-no-Iwaya
達谷窟
Takkoku-no-iwaya
Temple an Historic Site in the south-eastern part of Hiraizumi that includes a temple dedicated to Bishamonten, reputed to date back to Sakanoue no Tamuramaro[32] Takkoku no Iwaya.JPG 38°58′08″N 141°03′29″E / 38.96901282°N 141.0581363°E / 38.96901282; 141.0581363 (Takkoku-no-Iwaya)
Shirotori-tate Site
白鳥舘遺跡
Shirotori-tate iseki
Japanese castle ruins Located in Ōshū City north of Hiraizumi; in a strategic spot on the Kitakami River, it is generally believed that it was the site of numerous structures between the 10th and 16th centuries. Exactly what its status was during the reigns of the Abe clan (Fujiwara no Kiyohira's maternal ancestors) and the Ōshū Fujiwara clan is unclear, but as the site of several medieval castle-structures linked to them, it was one of the first to be submitted for consideration by the World Heritage Committee; Historic Site[28][33] 39°01′30″N 141°08′05″E / 39.025018°N 141.134834°E / 39.025018; 141.134834 (Shirotori-tate Site)
Chōjagahara Haiji Site
長者ヶ原廃寺跡
Chōjagahara Haiji iseki
Temple Historic Site[28][34] Cyoujagahara.JPG 39°00′46″N 141°05′48″E / 39.012694°N 141.096611°E / 39.012694; 141.096611 (Chōjagahara Haiji Site)
Honedera-mura Shōen Site
骨寺村荘園遺跡
Honedera-mura shōen iseki
Shōen Historic Site; the surrounding area is an Important Cultural Landscape[35][36] 38°58′54″N 140°57′06″E / 38.9817021°N 140.95177743°E / 38.9817021; 140.95177743 (Honedera-mura Shōen Site)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hiraizumi – Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land". UNESCO. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Hiraizumi – Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land". ICOMOS. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Yiengpruksawan, Mimi Hall (1998). Hiraizumi: Buddhist Art and Regional Politics in Twelfth-Century Japan. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-39205-1. 
  4. ^ Shiveley, Donald H.; McCullough, William H. (1999). Cambridge History of Japan II: Heian Japan. Cambridge University Press. p. 678. ISBN 0-521-22353-9. 
  5. ^ Yiengpruksawan, Mimi Hall (1998). Hiraizumi: Buddhist Art and Regional Politics in Twelfth-Century Japan. Harvard University Press. pp. 1–4. ISBN 0-674-39205-1. 
  6. ^ Miner, Earl (1969). Japanese Poetic Diaries. University of California Press. pp. 176f. 
  7. ^ Yiengpruksawan, Mimi Hall (1998). Hiraizumi: Buddhist Art and Regional Politics in Twelfth-Century Japan. Harvard University Press. p. 26. ISBN 0-674-39205-1. 
  8. ^ "Historical Study by the Historical Documents". Iwate Prefecture. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "中尊寺境内" [Chūsonji Precinct] (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  10. ^ Yiengpruksawan, Mimi Hall (1998). Hiraizumi: Buddhist Art and Regional Politics in Twelfth-Century Japan. Harvard University Press. pp. 67–76, 121–142. ISBN 0-674-39205-1. 
  11. ^ Fukuyama, Toshio (1976). Heian Temples: Byodo-in and Chuson-ji. Weatherhill. ISBN 0-8348-1023-9. 
  12. ^ "毛越寺境内附鎮守社跡" [Mōtsūji Precinct and Chinjusha] (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  13. ^ "毛越寺庭園" [Mōtsūji Garden] (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c "Archaeologically Excavated Japanese Gardens Database". Nara Research Institute for Cultural Properties. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  15. ^ Yiengpruksawan, Mimi Hall (1998). Hiraizumi: Buddhist Art and Regional Politics in Twelfth-Century Japan. Harvard University Press. pp. 100–105. ISBN 0-674-39205-1. 
  16. ^ "旧観自在王院庭園" [Former Kanjizaiōin Garden] (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  17. ^ "Kanjizaioin Temple Site". Mōtsū-ji. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  18. ^ Yiengpruksawan, Mimi Hall (1998). Hiraizumi: Buddhist Art and Regional Politics in Twelfth-Century Japan. Harvard University Press. pp. 106f. ISBN 0-674-39205-1. 
  19. ^ "無量光院跡" [Muryōkōin Site] (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  20. ^ "Muryokoin Temple Site". Mōtsū-ji. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  21. ^ Yiengpruksawan, Mimi Hall (1998). Hiraizumi: Buddhist Art and Regional Politics in Twelfth-Century Japan. Harvard University Press. pp. 107–111. ISBN 0-674-39205-1. 
  22. ^ "金鶏山" [Kinkeizan] (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  23. ^ "Mt. Kinkei". Hiraizumi Tourism Association. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  24. ^ Yiengpruksawan, Mimi Hall (1998). Hiraizumi: Buddhist Art and Regional Politics in Twelfth-Century Japan. Harvard University Press. p. 110. ISBN 0-674-39205-1. 
  25. ^ "世界遺産の概要" [World Heritage Site: summary] (in Japanese). Iwate Prefecture. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  26. ^ "Report on the 35th World Heritage Committee Session Decision Results for: "Hiraizumi- Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land"". Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  27. ^ Corkill, Edan (18 June 2011). "Temple hopes for UNESCO nod and big cheer for Iwate". The Japan Times. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  28. ^ a b c "柳之御所・平泉遺跡群" [Yanagi Gosho - Hiraizumi Sites] (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  29. ^ "Yanagi no Gosho Site". Hiraizumi Tourism Association. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  30. ^ "Yanagi no Gosho Museum". Hiraizumi Tourism Association. Retrieved 16 May 2011. 
  31. ^ Yiengpruksawan, Mimi Hall (1998). Hiraizumi: Buddhist Art and Regional Politics in Twelfth-Century Japan. Harvard University Press. pp. 65, 99. ISBN 0-674-39205-1. 
  32. ^ "達谷窟" [Takkoku-no-Iwaya]. Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  33. ^ "白鳥舘遺跡" [Shirotori-tate Site] (in Japanese). Iwate Prefecture. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  34. ^ "長者ヶ原廃寺跡" [Chōjagahara Haiji Site] (in Japanese). Iwate Prefecture. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  35. ^ "骨寺村荘園遺跡" [Honetera Village Shōen Site] (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  36. ^ "一関本寺の農村景観" [Landscape of the Agricultural Village of Hondera, Ichinoseki] (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

Yiengpruksawan, Mimi Hall (1998). Hiraizumi: Buddhist Art and Regional Politics in Twelfth-Century Japan. Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-39205-1. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°59′19″N 141°06′37″E / 38.98861°N 141.11028°E / 38.98861; 141.11028