Thursday, February 12, 2009

Obakusan Mampukuji Temple - Uji Kyoto

Founded by zen master Ingen (1592-1673), Mampuku-ji is located south of Kyoto in Uji. It is the head of the Okaku sect of Rinzai Zen Buddhism.

Ingen was originally from China, where he was head priest at Obaku-san Zempukuji in Fujian Province. At the advanced age of 65 he was invited to Japan. He came with an entourage of disciples and began teaching Rinzai Buddhism. He was granted some 80 acres on which Mampukuji was founded in 1661 and built in Ming Chinese style—which makes it an unusual building in Japan.

The Temple is famed for its pine trees and architecture. The Japan Sencha Tea Ceremony has its headquarters at Mampukuji.

Seated Hotei (Maitreya-Bodhisattva) in Tenouden : Tenouden was built in 1668. At the front of Tenouden is enshrined Hotei, who is said to be the incarnation of Maitreya Bodhisattva in China. Hotei is seated in Tosotsuten (Tusita Heaven), his dwelling in the celestial world.

The buildings of Obakusan are a Buddhist temple layout modeled on the Chinese Ming style. The main temple is a high-roof space that is set off from the front room and nested between halls of the same size on its left and right. The temple remains in its original form. Its style is rare to Japan and is seen as a representative Zen Buddhist temple complex

Chinese influence is strong

The swastika design is of Indian Sanskrit origin and shows the influence of Indian Buddhism.

Web Site in Japanese

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