Benten-dō

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An example of Benten-dō

In Japanese a Benten-dō (弁天堂?, lit. hall of Benten) is a Buddhist temple dedicated to Benten or Benzaiten, goddess of wealth, happiness, wisdom and music. Many such temples exist all over Japan.

Because the goddess was originally the personification of a river, Benten-dō often stand next to some source of water, a river, pond, spring, or even the sea. The goddess is routinely believed to be essentially the same as kami Ugajin within the syncretism of Buddhism and local kami worship called shinbutsu-shūgō. For this reason, Benten-dō can be found also at many Shinto shrines, despite use of the suffix -, which is the traditional designation for a Buddhist "hall". In contrast, the halls of Shinto shrines use the esuffix -den, as in honden. An example of the syncretic association is the Kawahara Shrine in Nagoya.

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Coordinates: 35°42′44″N 139°46′16″E / 35.7122°N 139.7712°E / 35.7122; 139.7712