Nishi Honganji

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Nishi Hongan-ji
西本願寺
Nishihonganji03n4592.jpg
Amidadō and Goeidō
Information
Mountain Name Ryūkokuzan
Denomination Jōdo Shinshū
Venerated Amida Nyorai (Amitābha)
Founded 1591
Founder(s) Honganji Kennyo
Address 60 Horikawa-dōri Hanaya-chō Kudaru Honganji Monzen-machi, Shimogyō-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Country Japan
Website http://www.hongwanji.or.jp/index.html
Shiro-Shoin

Nishi Hongan-ji (西本願寺 Nishi Hongan-ji?) "Western Temple of the Original Vow" is one of two temple complexes of Jōdo Shinshū in Kyoto, Japan, the other being Higashi Hongan-ji, or "Eastern Temple of the Original Vow". Jōdo Shinshū is a school of Pure Land Buddhism, and today Nishi Hongan-ji serves as the head temple of the Jōdo Shinshū organization.[1] As with many sites in Kyoto, they have more casual names, and are known affectionately in Kyoto as Onissan (お西さん?, Dear Mr. West) and Ohigashisan (お東さん?, Dear Mr. East).

History[edit]

Nishi Honganji was established in 1602 by the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Ieyasu split the main Honganji in Kyoto into two temples, Nishi Hongan-ji and Higashi Hongan-ji, in order to diminish the power of the Jōdo sect.[1] Nishi Hongan-ji is listed as one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Temple precinct[edit]

Nishi Hongan-ji occupies almost all of a rectangular area bounded by Hanayachō-dōri (Hanayachō Street) to the north, Horikawa-dōri (Horikawa Street) to the east,A Shichijō-dōri (Shichijō Street) to the south, and Shichijō-dōri (Omiya Street) to the west. The main entrance to Nishi Hongan-ji is to the east on Horikawa-dōri. As the name of the temple implies, it is located to the west of Higashi Hongan-ji. Nishi Hongan-ji is older than the latter and has a more integral architecture.[1]

Karamon gate[edit]

Karamon gate of Nishi Hongan-ji

The Karamon (唐門?) is a gate of Nishi Hongan-ji designated a National Treasures of Japan. It is constructed as a four-legged gate with karahafu gables of undulating curves on the front and back.[2] The Karamon gate has a roof in the irimoya style, a style of hip roof sloping down on all four sides and integrated on two opposing sides with a gable.[3] The roof is covered by bark shingles made from hinoki cypress. The gate dates to 1573 and was constructed early in the Momoyama period (1573 – 1614).

See also[edit]

Footnote[edit]

A.^ The defunct hanamachi courtesan's district of Shimabara is located directly to the west of the north side of Nishi Hongan-ji along Hanayachō-dōri.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Popular Buddhism In Japan: Shin Buddhist Religion & Culture by Esben Andreasen, pp. 11, 38-39, 105 / University of Hawaii Press 1998, ISBN 0-8248-2028-2
  2. ^ Parent, Mary Neighbour, ed. (2001-). "Karahafu (唐破風)". JAANUS: Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. Tokyo: Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. OCLC 318091406. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 
  3. ^ Parent, Mary Neighbour, ed. (2001-). "Irimoya-zukuri (入母屋造)". JAANUS: Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. Tokyo: Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. OCLC 318091406. Retrieved July 4, 2012. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • Ducor, Jérôme : Terre Pure, Zen et autorité : La Dispute de l'ère Jôô et la Réfutation du Mémorandum sur des contradictions de la foi par Ryônyo du Honganji, avec une traduction annotée du Ha Anjin-sôi-no-oboegaki (Collège de France, Bibliothèque de l'Institut des Hautes Etudes Japonaises); Paris, De Boccard, 2007 (ISBN 978-2-913217-18-8).

Coordinates: 34°59′30.4″N 135°45′6.1″E / 34.991778°N 135.751694°E / 34.991778; 135.751694