Friday, October 24, 2008

Genko-an Temple (Kyoto)

Established in 1346 as a place of retirement for the second head priest of Daitoku-ji Temple. The main hall dates from that year. The temple is famous for the two windows expressing the soul of Buddhism, the round "Window of Enlightenment" and the square "Window of Confusion." Dark stains on the ceiling of the corridor along the Main Hall are remains of the tragedy at Fushimijo Castle. During the battle of Sekigahara (circa 1600) a number of more than 380 soldiers were protecting Fushimijo Castle. As they were defending the castle, rather than face surrender the soldiers committed suicide, staining the Castle floors red. Fushimijo was dismantled after the Meiji Resortoration and the materials were distributed among temples and other buildings throughout the region.

Niomon at Genko-an Temple

Temple Bell

Temple Garden

Window of Enlightenment and the Window of Confusion

Temple Altar

Palanquins (Kago) were often used in Japan to transport the warrior class and nobility, most famously during the Tokugawa period when regional samurai were required to spend a part of the year in Edo (Tokyo) with their families, resulting in yearly migrations of the rich and powerful to and from the capital along the central backbone road of Japan.

Ceremonial Drum

Temple Ceiling

Temple Niomon

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