JAPAN PICS
Kamakura City, Kanagawa
神奈川県鎌倉市
Table of Contents

  Zuiroku-san Dai-Engaku Kosho Zen-ji Temple (瑞鹿山 円覚興聖禅寺)
    [known as Engaku-ji Temple (円覚寺)]
  Meigetsu-in (明月院) known as Ajisai-dera (紫陽花寺)
  Kofuku-san Kencho-ji Temple (巨福山 建長寺)
  Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine (鶴岡八幡宮)
  Yoritomo Minamoto's Grave (源 頼朝 墓)
  "Kamakura Dai-Butsu" (The Great Buddha of Kamakura) (鎌倉大仏)
  Kaiko-san Jisho-in Hase-dera Temple (海光山 長谷寺)
    [known as Hase Kannon Temple (長谷観音)]
  E-no-den Train (江ノ電)
  Koshigoe (腰越)
  Ryugo-zan Mampuku-ji Temple (龍護山 満福寺)
  Koyurugi-jinjya Shrine (小動神社)
  Daizo-zan Sugimoto-dera Temple (大蔵山 杉本寺)
  Koshin-zan Hokoku-ji Temple (功臣山 報国寺) known as take-dera (竹寺)
  Toka-san Jomyo-ji Temple (稲荷山 浄妙寺)
  Ganzo-san Kosoku-ji Temple (岩蔵山 光触寺)
JAPAN PICS GENERAL INDEX
Hokkaido District
  
Do-o (Hokkaido Central)
  
   Naganuma Town (The Tsuchinotomi Society Tour)
2006
   Otaru City (The Tsuchinotomi Society Tour)
2006
   Sapporo City (The Tsuchinotomi Society Tour)
2006
   Sapporo City ("Nihon-no-Matsuri" 2006)
2006
Iwate of the Tohoku District
  
   Esashi, Oshu City
2004-2011
   Hachimantai City
2006
   Hanamaki City
2005-2007
   Hiraizumi Town
2003-2007
   Ichinoseki City
2004-2010
   Iwaizumi Town
2005
   Kitakami City
2005
   Miyako City
2009-2011
   Mizusawa, Oshu City
2004-2012
   Morioka City
2004-2012
   Ninohe City
2007
   Rikuzentakata City
2008-2011
   Shizukuishi Town
2007
   Tono City
2003
Other Tohoku Regions
  
Aomori
  
   Hachinohe City (The Tsuchinotomi Society Tour)
2006
Miyagi
  
   Matsushima Town
2006
   Tome City
2005
Yamagata
  
   Yamadera, Yamagata City
2005
Kanto District
  
Ibaraki
  
   Joso City
2007
   Kashima City
2006
   Mito City
2008
   Shimotsuma City
2007
Kanagawa
  
   Kamakura City
2005-2007
Tochigi
  
   Nikko City
2002-2007
   Utsunomiya City
2007
Tokyo
  
   Tokyo Central
2002-2012
Yamanashi
  
   Kofu City
2007
Chubu District
  
Aichi
  
   Nagoya City
2008
   Toyokawa City
2009
Fukui
  
   Eiheiji Town
2009
   Fukui City
2009-2011
   Obama City
2009
   Tsuruga City
2009-2011
Gifu
  
   Gujo-Hachiman
2009
   Sekigahara Town
2008
Ishikawa
  
   Kanazawa City
2008
Nagano
  
   Nagano City
2007
   Matsumoto City
2007
Shizuoka
  
   Fuji City
2009-2010
Kansai (Kinki) District
  
Hyogo
  
   Ako City
2008
   Himeji City
2008
   Kobe City
2008-2012
   Nishinomiya City
2012
   Tamba City
2010
Kyoto
  
   Kyoto City Central
2005-2012
   Kyoto City East
2005-2012
   Kyoto City North
2005-2011
   Kyoto City South
2006-2012
   Kyoto City West
2005-2012
   Ayabe City
2010
   Maizuru City
2010
   Miyazu City
2012
   Uji City
2006
   Yahata City
2006
Mie
  
   Iga City
2011
   Ise City
2009
Nara
  
   Asuka Area
2006
   Ikaruga Town
2005
   Nara City Central
2006-2010
   Nishinokyo, Nara City
2005-2010
   Sakurai City
2011
   Tenri City
2011-2012
   Yoshino Town
2010
Osaka
  
   Hirakata City
2005-2012
   Osaka City Central
2007-2011
   Sakai City
2010
Shiga
  
   Azuchi-cho, Omihachiman City
2008-2010
   Hikone City
2008
   Koka City
2011
   Nagahama City
2008-2011
   Otsu City
2006-2009
Wakayama
  
   Koya Town
2009
   Wakayama City
2011
Chugoku District
  
Hiroshima
  
   Hiroshima City
2002-2012
   Miyajima, Hatsukaichi City
2002-2012
   Onomichi City
2002
Okayama
  
   Kurashiki City
2008
   Okayama City
2008
Shimane
  
   Izumo City
2011
   Oda City
2012
   Tsuwano Town
2012
Yamaguchi
  
   Hagi City
2012
   Iwakuni City
2012
   Shimonoseki City
2010-2012
   Yamaguchi City
2010-2012
Shikoku District
  
Ehime
  
   Matsuyama City
2011
Kagawa
  
   Kotohira Town
2011
   Takamatsu City
2011
Kochi
  
   Kochi City
2011
Kyushu District
  
Fukuoka
  
   Dazaifu City
2010
   Fukuoka City
2010
   Kitakyushu City
2010-2012
Kagoshima
  
   Hioki City
2010
   Kagoshima City
2010
Nagasaki
  
   Nagasaki City
2010
Oita
  
   Oita City
2010

Kamakura City, Kanagawa
2005-2007

  Kamakura City is located in the middle part of Kanagawa Prefecture: it is about 50 minutes away from Tokyo by the local train on Yokosuka Line.  Surrounded by mountains and hills in east, west and north, and by coastlines in south, Kamakura covers only 40 square kilometers.  The ancient people believed that such natural features could guard the city from enemies.
  The name "Kamakura" first appeared in the official trade record in A.D. 735.  This historical city, however, was known as the first Samurai city which governed all over the country during the Kamakura Period (1183 [1185 or 1192] -1333) after Yoritomo Minamoto (1147-1199; r.1192-1199) founded the Kamakura Shogunate here.  After Yoritomo's death in 1199, his two sons Yoriie (1182-1204) and Sanetomo (1192-1219) became the second (r.1200-1204) and the third Shogun (r.1205-1219) respectively but they were mere puppets: Yoritomo's widow and their real mother Masako Hojo (1157-1225) and her clan Hojo held real power behind the throne.  In fact Yoriie was confined in Shuzenji, Izu by the Hojo clan who plotted for his assassination; they also enticed his son Kugyo to kill his uncle Sanetomo, a famous poet who became "U-Daijin" (The Minister of the Right; the Junior Minister of the old regime) that surpassed his father in rank.   Thus the lawful direct descendant of the Gen-ji clan was extinct but anyone of the Hojo clan could not become a Shogun because they were not qualified it by blood.  As the later historical facts show, the Gen-ji blood was required to become a ruler of the Samurai society: the Hojo clan were a mere a lower branch of the Hei-shi clan.   So the Hojo clan invited some royal blood from Kyoto to make a puppet Shogun one by one so that they could kept real power of the Kamakura Shogunate pulling the strings of each puppet.  They gradually introduced the new laws and innovative methods to govern the feudal society, beating their rivals by violence and using some cruel solutions while they sought for spiritual salvation in Zen Buddhism founding many Zen Buddhist temples around Kamakura.  Probably it was between the Jokyu War (1221) and the Mongolian Invations (1274 and 1281) when the Kamakura Shogunate flourished most in politics and in culture.  The population at that time was considered to be around 40,000 -50,000.
  However, after they experienced "Genko" (the Mongolian Invasions in 1274 and in 1281), the Shogunate rapidly declined in prosperity.  Tokimune Hojo (1251-1284), the eighth "Shikken" (military regent) succeeded to force back the two invations leading the Samurai warriors over the country but the Shogunate could not give enough rewards to them because Japan just defended herself at the cost of many lives; their frustration against the Shogunate gradually intensified.  Finally in 1333 when Yoshisada Nitta (1301-1338) besieged Kamakura [the Genko War], the Kamakura Shogunate was reduced and the last (fourteenth) "Shikken" Takatoki Hojo (1303-1333) killed himself there.  However, Nitta was beaten by Takauji Ashikaga who founded the new Shogunate in Muromachi (near the Imperial Palace), Kyoto in 1336 [1338]: the Ashikaga clan was a branch of the Gen-ji clan.
In the Muromachi Period (1338-1573), the Ashikaga Shogunate newly founded "Kamakura-fu" (the Kamakura Government) which ruled the ten counties of the Kanto District but could not be a center of national politics.  Finally in 1455, when Shigeuji Ashikaga (1438-1497), a Kamakura "Kupo" (Great Lord of Kamakura) was opposed to the Shogunate and the powerful Uesugi clan, he escaped from Kamakura and settled in Koga, Shimosa (now western edge of Ibaraki).  Thus Kamakura laid waste like a small village and many temples were dilapidated for want of repairs until the Tokugawa [Edo] Shogunate, who claimed that they were the descendants of the Gen-ji clan, began to repair Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine and some temples in the early seventeenth century.
Now Kamakura City is one of most popular sightseeing spots of Japan which fascinate international tourists.  the present population is about 170,000.

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Engaku-ji Temple
     Engaku-ji Temple (円覚寺), ranked second of the five great Zen temples of Kamakura, formerly called Zuiroku-san Dai-Engaku Kosho Zen-ji (瑞鹿山 円覚興聖禅寺), was founded by Sogen Mugaku (無学祖元; Bukko-zenji [仏光禅師], 1226-1286) at the request of Tokimune Hojo (北条時宗, 1251-1284) about seven hundred years ago, in the age of Bun-ei and Koan when Japan was attacked twice by Mongolia.  It was the most unprecedented national crisis Japan had ever experienced.  Tokimune Hojo, the eighth "Shikken" (military regent) of the Kamakura Shogunate who had long embraced Zen Buddhism, profoundly carried out his daily study of Zen even during the dangerous era of Koan.  Mugaku was the Zen master from South Sung (China) whom Tokimune deeply respected and invited to Kamukura in 1279.
  The Japanese samurai were united to engage the formidable enemy around Hakata Bay, Kyushu and succeeded to beat back the Mongolian troops in both battles in 1274 and 1281 with the miraculous help of the "Kami-Kaze" (the divine storms).  After this, Tokimune wished not only to spread the way of Zen that remained his mental support all the while, but also to hold a mass for the souls of both Japanese and Mongolian soldiers who laid down their life in those wars.  He also wanted to express his gratitude to his master Bukko.  Thus, the building of a temple was envisioned.  The temple was given the name of "Engaku" after Engaku-kyo (The Sutra on Perfect Enlightenment), dug out of the building site, in a stone chest.
  The establishment of Bukko sect was succeeded from Koho Ken-nichi of Nasu Ungen-ji to Soseki Muso of Tenryu-ji.  Especially Muso was respected as "the master of seven emperors" in the era of Northern and Southern Dynasties (1336-1392).  His school formed the major influence of the Zen World of Japan in the Muromachi Period (1336-1573).
  The temple encountered fire several times.  It also experienced temporary decline.  However, Priest Seisetsu appeared at the end of the Edo Period (1603-1867) and reconstructed the monastery to consolidate the foundation of the present Engaku-ji Temple.  He maintained the austere atmosphere for trainees, carrying out the reform of the sect.
  In the Meiji Era (1868-1912), itinerant and laity trainees, called koji, learned Zen under the direction of Kosen Imakita and his disciple Soen Shaku (1859-1919).  The temple became the center of Zen in the Kanto District.
  From the Zazen Course for students at Kojirin, outstanding men of ability appeared in great numbers in its long history.
  Engaku-ji Temple has eighteen branch temples in its site in addition to Jochi-ji Temple, Tokei-ji Temple and Zuisen-ji Temple nearby.
  
      *Main reference: the Official Pamphlet of Engaku-ji Temple.
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(Sunday 17 April) The main steps to the main gate of Engaku-ji Temple: about 1 minutes walk from Kita-Kamakura Station on JR Yokosuka Line
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(Sunday 17 April) "So-mon" (Outer Gate) of Engaku-ji Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) "San-mon" (Main Gate) of Engaku-ji Temple.  "San-mon" was rebuilt in 1783 by Priest Seisetsu (Daiyu Kokushi), whom Engaku-ji Temple owed uch for refoundation.  "Kanzeon Bosatsu" (Bodhisattva of Great Compassion, Mercy and Love) and "Rakkans" (statues of holy persons) are enshrined in towers.  The framed calligraphy "Engaku Kosho Zen-ji" was written by Emperor Fushimi (1265-1317: r.1287-1298) after his abdication.  This temple was named Engaku after Engaku-kyo was dug out of its site.
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(Sunday 17 April) "San-mon" (Main Gate) of Engaku-ji Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) "Butsu-den" "Worship Hall," Engaku-ji Temple.  This hall is dedicated to "Hokan Shaka Nyorai" (the Sacred-Crowned Sakyamuni Buddha), was rebuilt in 1964.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Butsu-den" "Worship Hall," Engaku-ji Temple.  This hall is dedicated to "Hokan Shaka Nyorai" (the Sacred-Crowned Sakyamuni Buddha), was rebuilt in 1964.  Clouds and a dragon were painted on the ceiling by the artist Seison Maeda.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Chokushi-mon" (Gate for Imperial Representatives), "Dai-Hojo" (Quarters of the Head Priest), Engaku-ji Temple.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Dai-Hojo" (Quarters of the Head Priest), Engaku-ji Temple.  The name "Hojo" originates in one jo square (1 jo is about 10 feet) in connection with "Yuima-Koji" of India who lived in a room of the same size.  This was a living room of the superior priest of the temple, but now many rituals are held here.
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(Sunday 17 April) A view from "Dai-Hojo" (Quarters of the Head Priest), Engaku-ji Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) "Hyaku-Kannon" (A Hundred Sculptures of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy; Skt. Avalokitesvara; Ch. Kuan Yin), "Dai-Hojo" (Quarters of the Head Priest), Engaku-ji Temple.  A hundred stone sculptures of "Kannon" were enshrined by Sesso-Sonjya in the Edo Period (1603-1867) and the Zen Master Kosen consolidated them in the Meiji Era (1868-1912).  The damage by the Kanto Great Earthquake in 1923 has been recovered as much as possible.  The sculptures were set in the site of a branch temple Shorei-in before, and moved into the garden of "Dai-Hojo" recently.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Myoko-ike" Pond, Engaku-ji Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) Gate to "Shari-den" (Shrine for Sacred Tooth of the Buddha; a national treasure), Engaku-ji Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) "Shari-den" (Shrine for Sacred Tooth of the Buddha; a national treasure), Engaku-ji Temple.  This is a shrine where the Buddha's tooth is enshrined.  The tooth was gifted to the third Shogun Sanetomo Minamoto (1192-1219; r.1203-1219) from "Nonin-ji," South Sung (China).  Constructed in the typical Chinese Style in the Kamakura Period (1192-1333), this building has been designated a national treasure for its beauty.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Kaiki-byo" (Mausoleum of Tokimune Hojo, the patron of the temple), Engaku-ji Temple.  The sculptures of three "Shikkens" Tokimune, Sadatoki and Takatoki Hojo (1303-1333) are enshrined.
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(Sunday 17 April) Tea in the garden of "Kaiki-byo" (Mausoleum of Tokimune Hojo, the patron of the temple), Engaku-ji Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) Tea in the garden of "Kaiki-byo" (Mausoleum of Tokimune Hojo, the patron of the temple), Engaku-ji Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) Tea in the garden of "Kaiki-byo" (Mausoleum of Tokimune Hojo, the patron of the temple), Engaku-ji Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) "Obai-in" (Branch Temple of Yellow Plums) in the precincts of Engaku-ji Temple.  The widow of Tokimune Hojo, Nun Kakusan-ni, dedicated a Kegon Pagoda for the bliss of her husband.  Later, the Ashikaga clan constructed this building in the same place for Muso-Kokushi.  It was very popular in the Muromachi Period (1338-1573).  Several antique documents have been found.
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(Sunday 17 April) A wooden Buddha image in the garden of "Obai-in" in the precincts of Engaku-ji Temple.
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(Sunday 17 April) A view of the garden of "Obai-in" in the precincts of Engaku-ji Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) A back view of "San-mon" (Main Gate) of Engaku-ji Temple
  
     
Meigetsu-in
     This temple has been well-known with the name of "Ajisai-dera" (紫陽花 [あじさい] 寺; Temple of Hydrangeas [Hydrangea macrophylla].  The blue flowers of "Hime-ajisai" (姫アジサイ; Japanese hydrangeas) are in full blossom in in June.
  Meigetsu-in (明月院; literally "Bright Moon Temple") was founded in 1160 as "Meigetsu-an" (明月庵; literally "Bright Moon Hermitage") by Tsunetoshi Shudo (首藤 經俊) for the repose of the soul of his father Toshimichi (首藤 俊道) who died in the Battle of Heiji (平治の乱) in 1159.  In 1256, Tokiyori Hojo (北条 時頼, 1227-1263), the fifth "Shikken" (執権; military regent) of the Kamakura Shogunate, chose this site for the construction of a Buddhist temple called Saimyo-ji Temple (最明寺), located northwest of the present Meigetsu-in.  At the age of 30, Tokiyori Hojo (北条 時頼) entered the Buddhist priesthood under the name Kakuryobo Dosu.  When he died seven years later he composed a farewell poem in the sitting meditation posture:

    For 37 years
    I held the mirror of karma high.
    Now with a smash I break it to pieces,
    And the Great Path falls away.

      Posthumous name: Saimyo-ji-den Sunko Daizen-jomon

  Saimyo-ji Temple later became the predecessor of a new temple called "Fukugen-zan Zenjo-kosho-zen-ji (福源山 禅興久昌禅寺) or in short, Zenko-ji Temple (禅興寺), founded by Tokiyori Hojo's son Tokimune (北条 時宗; see above).  The first abbot was Misshitsu-Shugon (密室 守厳), the fifth-generation dharma successor to the Chinese Zen Master Rankei Doryu (蘭溪道隆; Lanqi Daolong; b Sichuan Province, 1213; d Kamakura, 1278), founder of Kencho-ji Temple.
  During the Muromachi Period (1336-1573) this temple seems to have been at the summit of its prosperity  In 1380, Ujimitsu Ashikaga (足利 氏満, 1359-1398), a powerful lord of Kamakura, ordered Norikata Uesugi (上杉憲方) to promote Zenko-ji Temple by constructing new buildings, expanding the grounds and establishing subsidiary temples.  The third Ashikata Shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga (足利義満, 1358-1408; r.1368-1394) ranked Zenko-ji Temple first among the ten great Buddhist temples of the Kanto District.  Meigetsu-an, meanwhile, was changed its name to "Meigetsu-in" and designated a subsidiary of Zenko-ji Temple.
  The main image of worship is "Kannon Bosatsu" (Kannon Bodhisattva: the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy; Skt. Avalokitesvara; Ch. Kuan Yin).  An old collection of illustrations called "Meigetsu-in Ezu" (明月院絵図) gives a glimpse of the temple in its heyday.  Zenko-ji Temple was abolished soon after the Meiji Restoration in 1867, and only Meigetsu-in remains to the present day.  It belongs to the Kencho-ji Branch of the Rinzai Zen sect of Buddhism.
    *Main reference: the Official Pamphlet of Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) "So-mon" (Outer Gate) of Meigetsu-in Temple: about 10 minutes walk from Engaku-ji Temple or Kita-Kamakura Station on the JR Yokosuka Line.  189 Yamanouchi, Kamakura City
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(Saturday 16 June) "So-mon" (Outer Gate) of Meigetsu-in Temple in the high season of "Hime-ajisai" (Japanese hydrangeas): about 10 minutes walk from Engaku-ji Temple or Kita-Kamakura Station on the JR Yokosuka Line.  189 Yamanouchi, Kamakura City
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(Saturday 16 June) "Kaiki-byo" (Mausoleum of Tokiyori Hojo [1227-1263]), the patron of the temple) of Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) Tomb of Tokiyori Hojo (1227-1263), the fifth "Shikken" (military regent) of the Kamakura Shogunate, Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Hime-ajisai" (Japanese hydrangeas), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Hime-ajisai" (Japanese hydrangeas), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Hime-ajisai" (Japanese hydrangeas) in the garden of Gessho-ken (月笑軒), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Hime-ajisai" (Japanese hydrangeas) in the garden of Gessho-ken (月笑軒), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Hime-ajisai" (Japanese hydrangeas) in the garden of Gessho-ken (月笑軒), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) Katsura-bashi Bridge (桂橋) to the upper part (the main hall, the founder's hall, etc.), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) A "shidare-zakura" (drooping cherry-tree) in the upper garden of Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Hime-ajisai" (Japanese hydrangeas) in the upper garden of Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Hime-ajisai" (Japanese hydrangeas) in the upper garden of Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Hime-ajisai" (Japanese hydrangeas) in the hands of the stone Buddha in front of "Kaisan-do" Hall (開山堂; Founder's Hall), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) "Kaisan-do" Hall (Founder's Hall), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) Interior of "Kaisan-do" (Founder's Hall), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) "Meigetsu-in Yagura" (Meigetsu-in Grotto Grave)
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(Sunday 17 April) A holy cave, Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Hime-ajisai" (Japanese hydrangeas) near "Kaisan-do" Hall, Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Hime-ajisai" (Japanese hydrangeas) near "Kaisan-do" Hall, Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) A small shrine for "Jizo Bosatsus" (Jizo Bodhisattva; the guardian deity of children), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) "Hojo" (方丈; Quarters of the Head Priest) or "Hon-do" (Main Hall), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Maru-mado" (丸窓; the round window) in "Hojo" (Quarters of the Head Priest) or "Hon-do" (Main Hall), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Maru-mado" (丸窓; the round window) in "Hojo" (Quarters of the Head Priest) or "Hon-do" (Main Hall), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Maru-mado" (丸窓; the round window) in "Hojo" (Quarters of the Head Priest) or "Hon-do" (Main Hall), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) "Kare-sansui Teien" (枯山水庭園; the dry garden expressing the Buddhist view of the world), Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) A "shidare-zakura" (枝垂れ桜; drooping cherry-tree) in the upper garden of Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) "Tsutsuji" (ツツジ; azaleas) in the upper garden of Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Hime-ajisai" (Japanese hydrangeas) in the upper garden of Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) "Gaku-ajisai" (萼[がく]紫陽花; Hydrangea macrophylla form. normalis) in the upper garden of Meigetsu-in Temple
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(Saturday 16 June) A bamboo grove in the upper garden of Meigetsu-in Temple
  
     
Kencho-ji Temple
     Kofuku-san Kencho-ji Temple (巨福山 建長寺), ranked first of the five great Zen temples of Kamakura, formerly called Kofuku-san Kencho-Kokoku-zen-ji Temple (巨福山 建長興国禅寺), is the first-ranked of the five great Zen temples of Kamakura, and is the oldest Zen training monastery in Japan.  It was constructed by order of the Emperor Gofukakusa (1243-1304: r.1246-1259) during the regency of Tokiyori Hojo (北条時頼, 1227-1263).  The construction was completed in 1253 or in the fifth year of the Kencho Era, from which the name of the temple was taken.
  The founder of Kencho-ji Temple was "Rankei Doryu" (蘭渓道隆; Lan-hsi Tao-lung, 1213-1278), a Chinese Zen master of the Sung Dynasty.  He left China in 1246 to teach Zen in Japan, spending several years in Kyushu and Kyoto before coming to Kamakura to found Kencho-ji Temple.  After his death the memorial title "Daikaku-Zenji" (Teacher of Great Realization) was conferred upon him by the Emperor Gouda.  This was the first time in Japanese history that such a title was given to a priest of the Zen sect.
  Something of the nature of "Doryu Rankei"'s teaching can be seen in the following quotation from his "Recorded Sayings":

  If you have lost your true self, all phenomena bring you nothing but annoyance.  If you discover your essence of mind, you can follow nothing but the true path.

  Tokiyori Hojo, the fifth "Shikken" (執権; military regent) of the Kamakura Shogunate, was the principal patron of Kencho-ji Temple during its early years.  His support was spiritual as well as financial: as a devoted follower of "Doryu Rankei" and his successor Gottan, he practiced Zen for many years and approached the state of the master himself.
    *Main reference: the Official Pamphlet of Kencho-ji Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) The Outer Gate of Kencho-ji Temple: about 11 minutes walk from Meigetsu-in Temple.  8 Yamanouchi, Kamakura City.  Kencho-ji Temple originally comprised seven main buildings and 49 subtemples, but most of those were destroyed in a series of fires during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.  In the Edo Period (1603-1867), however, the Zen master Takuen (1573-1645) succeeded, with aid from the Shogunate, in restoring Kencho-ji Temple to much of its former splendor.
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(Sunday 17 April) "So-mon" (General Gate), Kencho-ji Temple.  This gate originally stood at the Hanju Zanmai-in Temple in Kyoto, famous as the storage place for the Imperial family tablets.
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(Sunday 17 April) "San-mon" (Main Gate), Kencho-ji Temple.  The present gate was built in 1754 by Buntetsu, the chief priest of Kencho-ji Temple at the time.  He was aided in this project by donations from the people of the Kanto District.  A legend tells that a badger helped the cause by transforming himself into a monk, ini order to repay the kindness he had been shown by the priests of Kencho-ji Temple.  Thus even now the Main Gate is called "Tanuki-mon" (Badger's Gate).
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(Sunday 17 April) "San-mon" (Main Gate), Kencho-ji Temple.  Viewed from "Bonsho" (Temple Bell).
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(Sunday 17 April) "San-mon" (Main Gate), Kencho-ji Temple.  Viewed from inside of the gate.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Bonsho" (Temple Bell), Kencho-ji Temple.  This bell, cast in 1255 and hearing an inscription by the founder "Doryu Rankei," has been designated a National Treasure by the government.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Butsu-den" (the Buddha Hall), Kencho-ji Temple.  It was originally mausoleum building belonging to the Tokugawa Shogunate, and were located at Zojo-ji Temple in Tokyo.  This building and the "Kara-mon" (Chinese Gate), were moved piece by piece to their present location in 1647.
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(Sunday 17 April) Interior of "Butsu-den" (the Buddha Hall), Kencho-ji Temple.  The large Buddhist image inside the "Butsu-den" represents "Jizo Bosatsu" (the guardian deity of children: Kshitigarbha Bodhisattava).  Courtesy of Kencho-ji Temple.
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(Sunday 17 April) Interior of "Butsu-den" (the Buddha Hall), Kencho-ji Temple.  The large Buddhist image inside the "Butsu-den" represents "Jizo Bosatsu" (Kshitigarbha Bodhisattava).  Courtesy of Kencho-ji Temple.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Hatto" (Dharma Hall, left) and "Butsu-den" (the Buddha Hall, right), Kencho-ji Temple.  A northern view.  In the building of "Hatto" all major public ceremonies are performed since 1814.  It is the largest wooden Buddhist structure in Eastern Japan.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Hojo" (Main Hall, left) and "Kuri" (Temple Office, right), Kencho-ji Temple.  "Hojo," like the So-mon, was moved to Kencho-ji Temple from its original location at Hanju Zanmai-in Temple in Kyoto.  It was first used as the chief priest's residence as the name "Hojo" suggests, but is now used in the performance of religious services for the believers of Kencho-ji Temple.  The image enshrined here is that of "Shaka-Nyorai" (Shakamuni Buddha).  The "Hojo" is often called "Ryu-o-den" (Dragon King Hall).
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(Sunday 17 April) "Su-zan-mon" (Song-shan Gate), Kencho-ji Temple.  Over this gate which is strictly closed to the public, the monastery, where monks receive intensive training in Zen meditation, consists of the "Zen-do" (Meditation Hall), "Kaisan-do" (Founder's Hall) and the monastery administrative quarters.
    *"Su-zan" (Song-shan, 1,440 m) is one of the five Chinese Buddhist mountains in "Kanan-sho Tei-shu" (Zhengzhou, Henan/Honan).
  
     
Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu
     The history of Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine (鶴岡八幡宮) can date back to 1063 when Yoriyoshi Minamoto (源 頼義) suppressed a civil war called "Earlier Nine Years' War (前九年の役, 1051-1062) in Southern Iwate and asked Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu Shrine (石清水八幡宮), Kyoto to make a branch in Tsuruoka, Yui-go (鶴岡由比郷; now 1-chome Zaimokuza [材木座一丁目]or Moto-Hachiman[元八幡]): It was called "Yui-Waka-miya" (由比若宮).  Later in 1180 when Yoritomo Minamoto (源 頼朝) made Kamakura his headquarters for ruling Samurai families over Japan, he moved the shrine to the present place.  He constructed the main hall on the hillside of Daijin-yama Hill (大臣山) behind.  This Hachiman-gu Shrine was the symbol of the rightful chief of the Gen-ji clan [源氏]: Yoritomo moved the shrine at the center of the city as the counterpart of "Dairi" (内裏; the Imperial Palace), Kyoto.  Most of the present buildings were reconstructed by the Tokugawa Shogunate who claimed the descendant of the Gen-ji clan and the successor of of the Shogunate.  About 10 minutes walk from Kamakura Station on JR Yokosuka Line and Enoshima-Dentetsu Line.
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(Sunday 29 May) "Dankazura" (the Approach to Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine), Wakamiya-oji Street
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(Sunday 29 May) Inscription Stone for "Dankazura": It is the Approach whose both sides covered with the Japanese cherry trees towards Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine; the 457-meter foot-path from "Ni-no-Torii" (the Second Shrine Gate) to "San-no-Torii" (the Third Shrine Gate) in the middle of Wakamiya-oji Street.  It was constructed by Yoritomo Minamoto in 1182 when he prayed for his wife Masako's easy childbirth.
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(Sunday 29 May) "Dankazura" (the Approach to Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine), Wakamiya-oji Street
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(Sunday 29 May) "Dankazura" (the Approach to Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine), Wakamiya-oji Street
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(Sunday 29 May) "Dankazura" (the Approach to Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine), Wakamiya-oji Street
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(Sunday 29 May) "Dankazura" (the Approach to Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine), Wakamiya-oji Street
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(Sunday 17 April) "San-no-Torii" (Main Red Gate) of Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  Viewed from Wakamiya-oji Street.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Taiko-bashi" (Drum-shaped Bridge), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  Unfortunately you cannot cross it now.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Omote-San-do" (Main Approach to the main hall), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine
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(Sunday 29 May) "Mai-den" (Dance Stage) or "Shimo-Hai-den" (Lower Hall of Worship), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine
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(Sunday 17 April) "Mai-den" (Dance Stage) or "Shimo-Hai-den" (Lower Hall of Worship), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine
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(Sunday 17 April) "Mai-den" (舞殿; Dance Stage) or "Shimo-Hai-den" (Lower Hall of Worship), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  The most famous dancer performed on this stage must be Shizuka-gozen (Lady Shizuka), a subordinate wife (concubine) of Yoshitsune Minamoto (1159-1189).
  Shizuka-gozen, known as a matchless beauty at that time, was a daughter of Iso-no-Zenji, the top "Shira-byoshi" (an old-time holy singing and dancing woman) wearing a white hakama [traditional men's wear].  According to the legend, Shizuka-gozen was captured in Yoshino-yama Hill, Nara after separating from Yoshitsune Minamoto who became a fugitive wanted by his brother Yoritomo.  She was taken to Kamakura and ordered to perform a dance before Yoritomo and his wife Masako Hojo (1157-1224): Shizuka-gozen performed a very wonderful dance singing the song, "Yoshino-yama/Mine-no-Shirayuki/Fumiwakete/Irinishi-hito-no/Atozo-Koishiki" (In Hill of Yoshino,/I parted my darling/ who trod on the white snow of the peak/ and disappeared from sight. /How deeply I miss him!).  It expressed how deep she fell in love with Yoshitsune who had to leave her behind there.  It was said that Yoritomo got angry at Shizuka but Masako Hojo pacified his anger, saying that she could understand how Shizuka felt for Yoshitsune because she was also a woman.
  Several months later Shizuka-gozen had a boy by Yoshitsune in Kamakura.  Yoritomo ordered his retainer to abandon [to kill] the boy at Yui-ga-hama Coast, Kamakura: Masako did not stop it this time.  They feared the possible revenge in the future.  If the baby had been a girl, they would not have killed her.  Such is the way of the old Samurai, the way of the Gen-ji clan, which was far different from that of the Hei-ke clan who saved Yoritomo's and his brothers' lives at the time of Heiji War (1159).
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(Sunday 29 May) "Mai-den" (Dance Stage) or "Shimo-Hai-den" (Lower Hall of Worship), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  A wedding ceremony in the Shinto style.
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(Sunday 29 May) "Mai-den" (Dance Stage) or "Shimo-Hai-den" (Lower Hall of Worship), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  A wedding ceremony in the Shinto style.
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(Sunday 29 May) "Mai-den" (Dance Stage) or "Shimo-Hai-den" (Lower Hall of Worship), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  A wedding ceremony in the Shinto style.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Mai-den" (Dance Stage) or "Shimo-Hai-den" (Lower Hall of Worship), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  Viewed from "O-Ishi-dan" (Great Stone Steps) to the main hall.
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(Sunday 17 April) The sacred tree in the middle of "O-Ishi-dan" (Great Stone Steps), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine
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(Sunday 17 April) "Moto-miya" or "Hon-gu" (Main Hall), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine
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(Sunday 17 April) "Moto-miya" or "Hon-gu" (Main Hall), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  In January 1219 on the steps the thrid Shogun Sanetomo Minamoto was put to the sword by Kugyo (1200-1219), the son of the second Shogun Yoriie Minamoto (1182-1204; r.1202-1203).  It was the Hojo family who instigated Kugyo to crime.  Thus the Hojo family succeeded to root out the direct blood of the Genji clan and to control the Shogunate in 1219.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Moto-miya" or "Hon-gu" (Main Hall), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine
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(Sunday 17 April) "Moto-miya" or "Hon-gu" (Main Hall), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine
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(Sunday 17 April) "Moto-miya" or "Hon-gu" (Main Hall), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine
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(Sunday 17 April) Inscription of Gempei-ike Pond (consisting of two ponds; Hei-ke-ike Pond and Gen-ji-ike Pond), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine
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(Sunday 17 April) Hei-ke-ike Pond on the left (west) of Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Pond.  Designed by Masako Hojo, the wife of Yoritomo Minamoto praying for the Genji-clan's victory.  The four small islands suggest "death" of the Hei-ke clan: In Japanese, "shi" (four) has the same sound of "Shi" (death).
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(Sunday 17 April) Genji-ike Pond on the right (east) of Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  Designed by Masako Hojo, the wife of Yoritomo Minamoto praying for the Gen-ji-clan's victory.  The three small islands suggest "prosperity" of the Gen-ji clan: In Japanese, "san" (three) has the same sound of "San" (prosperity).
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(Sunday 17 April) Genji-ike Pond and Kijo Benzai-ten-sha Shrine in the precincts of Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine
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(Sunday 17 April) Kijo Benzai-ten-sha Shrine, Gen-ji-ike Pond in the precincts of Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  "Benzai-ten" is the Buddhist Goddess of Fortune.
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(Sunday 17 April) Kijo Benzai-ten-sha Shrine, Gen-ji-ike Pond in the precincts of Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine
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(Sunday 17 April) O-Ishi-do-ro (Great Stone Lantern), Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine
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(Sunday 17 April) Information Board of "Sazare-ishi" (さざれ石; Pebble) which is the same type of the pebble referred to in the national anthem "Kimi-ga-Yo" ("Thy Glorious Reign"):
  
  May thy glorious, glorious reign
  Last for ages, myriad ages,
  Till the tiny pebbles small
  Into mighty rocks shall growム
  Hoary moss shall overgrow them all!
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(Sunday 17 April) "Sazare-ishi" (Pebble) which is the same type of the pebble referred to in the national anthem "Kimi-ga-Yo" (see above).  Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  The most famous spot for "Sazare-ishi" (Pebble) is Yasukuni-jinjya Shrine, Tokyo: There are two "Sazare-ishis" there.
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(Sunday 17 April) Maruyama Inari-sha Shrine in the precincts of Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  It enshrines "O-Inari-san" (the God of Harvests).
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(Sunday 17 April) Maruyama Inari-sha Shrine in the precincts of Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  It enshrines "O-Inari-san" (the God of Harvests).
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(Sunday 17 April) Maruyama Inari-sha Shrine in the precincts of Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  It enshrines "O-Inari-san" (the God of Harvests).
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(Sunday 17 April) Maruyama Inari-sha Shrine in the precincts of Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine.  It enshrines "O-Inari-san" (the God of Harvests).  The fox is sacred to the God of Harvests over the country.
  
     
Yoritomo Minamoto
     Yoritomo Minamoto (源 頼朝, 1147-1199) was the first Kamakura Shogun (r. 1192-1199) who established the foundation of the first feudal government (the Kamakura Shogunate, 1183 [1185 or 1192]-1333) which was succeeded by the Muromachi (Ashikaga) Shogunate (1336 [1338] -1573) and the Edo (Tokugawa) Shogunate (1603-1867).  Born as the third son of Yoshitomo Minamoto (1123-1160), he was treated by his parents as the legitimate child of the Gen-ji clan because his mother was the daughter of the head Shinto priest of Atsuta-jingu Shrine (熱田神宮), Nagoya, whose status was succeeded by a member of the Fujiwara family for generations.  After his father's defeat at the Heiji War (1159), he was caught by the Hei-shi clan but his life was spared thanks to the head of the He-shi clan Kiyomori Taira (平清盛)'s step mother Ike-no-Zen-ni's entreaty.  Thus Yoritomo was sent to the Izu Peninsula where he had to stay for about twenty years in vain.  After some twists and turns, however, he finally married with Masako Hojo (1157-1225) a daughter of Tokimasa Hojo (1138-1215) who was ordered to watch Yoritomo by the Hei-shi clan.
  In 1180, Yoritomo, in cooperation with the Hojo clan, formed troops to subjugate the Hei-shi clan in obedience to Prince Mochihito-o (以仁王; the third son of Emperor Goshirakawa [後白河天皇], 1151-1180)'s command.  He lost in the first battle of Ishibashi-yama (southwest of Odawara) but greatly defeated the Hei-shi's army led by Koremori Taira (平 維盛, 1157-1184?) at the battle of Fuji-gawa River (Shizuoka).  Then he began to rule the Bando [板東; Kanto] District and established the Kamakura Shogunate   He sent his two brothers Noriyori Minamoto (源範頼, ?-1193) and Yoshitsune Minamoto (1159-1189) first to Kyoto to beat their cousin Yoshinaka Minamoto of Kiso (1154-1184) and then some parts of Western Japan to the Hei-shi clan at Dan-no-Ura (壇ノ浦; near Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi).  In 1192 he was finally appointed the first Kamakura Shogun by the Chotei in Kyoto: It suggests that he became the ruler of the Samurai dominated society of Japan.  Yoritomo was an innovative politician rather than a military leader; he rapidly arranged many rules and laws which enabled Samurai lords to govern their territories apart from the old Chotei aristocrats.  In 1199 he was thrown off a horse to death on the way to Tsuruoka Hachiman-gu Shrine at the age of 53 according to Azuma Kagami (『吾妻鏡』; the Record of the East 1180-1166, 53 vols.).
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(Sunday 17 April) Steps to the grave of Yoritomo Minamoto, Okura-yama Hill (site of "Hokke-do" or the Lotus Hall).  In this vicinity are the historical sites of his residence and buildings of the Okura government [the earlier Kamakura government].
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(Sunday 17 April) Shirahata-jinjya Shrine, Okura-yama Hill.  It enshrines Yoritomo Minamoto as the saint of victory.
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(Sunday 17 April) Shirahata-jinjya Shrine, Okura-yama Hill
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(Sunday 17 April) Yoritomo Minamoto's grave, Okura-yama Hill.  It consists of five copestones; about 2 meter high.
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(Sunday 17 April) Sign stone for Tadahisa Shimadu [or Shimazu]'s grave on the right (east) of Yoritomo's grave.  He was a faithful retainer of Yoritomo Minamoto.  In the precincts of Yoritomo's grave, Okura-yama Hill.
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(Sunday 17 April) Stone steps to the graves of three faithful retainers of Yoritomo Minamoto, Takamitsu Mori, Hiromoto Oe and Tadahisa Shimadu [or Shimazu], Okura-yama Hill
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(Sunday 17 April) "Ishi-dorii" (Stone Gate) to the graves of three faithful retainers of Yoritomo Minamoto, Takamitsu Mori, Hiromoto Oe and Tadahisa Shimadu [or Shimazu], Okura-yama Hill
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(Sunday 17 April) "Ishi-dorii" (Stone Gate) to the graves of three faithful retainers of Yoritomo Minamoto, Takamitsu Mori, Hiromoto Oe and Tadahisa Shimadu [or Shimazu], Okura-yama Hill
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(Sunday 17 April) One of the graves of the three faithful retainers, Takamitsu Mori, Hiromoto Oe and Tadahisa Shimadu [or Shimazu], Okura-yama Hill
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(Sunday 17 April) One of the graves of the three faithful retainers, Takamitsu Mori, Hiromoto Oe and Tadahisa Shimadu [or Shimazu], Okura-yama Hill
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(Sunday 17 April) One of the graves of the three faithful retainers, Takamitsu Mori, Hiromoto Oe and Tadahisa Shimadu [or Shimazu], Okura-yama Hill
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(Sunday 17 April) Inscription for the three faithful retainers, Takamitsu Mori, Hiromoto Oe and Tadahisa Shimadu [or Shimazu], Okura-yama Hill
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(Sunday 17 April) One of the graves of the three faithful retainers, Takamitsu Mori, Hiromoto Oe and Tadahisa Shimadu [or Shimazu], Okura-yama Hill
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(Sunday 17 April) One of the graves of the three faithful retainers, Takamitsu Mori, Hiromoto Oe and Tadahisa Shimadu [or Shimazu], Okura-yama Hill
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(Saturday 16 June) Genji-yama Hill (源氏山), Genji-yama Park, Sasuke (佐助).  In the 6th year of Eisho (永承6年) or AD 1051.  When Yoriyoshi Minamoto (源 頼義), ancestor of Yoritomo, started a campaign against Yoritoki Abe (阿倍頼時) and his clan in Oshu (奥州), Yoriyoshi raised a white flag (白幡; not a flag of truce in this context) here and prayed to Iwashimizu Hachimangu-Shrine (石清水八幡宮; the patron saint of the Gen-ji [Minamoto] clan) for victory.  Following the historical event, Yoritomo prayed here at the top of the hill for victory when he started a campaign against the Heike clan.  This place was reconstructed as a city park in the 40th year of Showa (昭和40年) or AD 1965.
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(Saturday 16 June) "Gaku-ajisai" (萼[がく]紫陽花; Hydrangea macrophylla form. normalis) and Seated Statue of Yoritomo Minamoto built in 1980, the 800th anniversary of Yoritomo's settlement in Kamakura (1180), Genji-yama Park, Sasuke
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(Saturday 16 June) Seated Statue of Yoritomo Minamoto built in 1980, the 800th anniversary of Yoritomo's settlement in Kamakura (1180), Genji-yama Park, Sasuke
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(Saturday 16 June) Seated Statue of Yoritomo Minamoto built in 1980, the 800th anniversary of Yoritomo's settlement in Kamakura (1180), Genji-yama Park, Sasuke
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(Saturday 16 June) "Gaku-ajisai" (萼[がく]紫陽花; Hydrangea macrophylla form. normalis) and Seated Statue of Yoritomo Minamoto built in 1980, the 800th anniversary of Yoritomo's settlement in Kamakura (1180), Genji-yama Park, Sasuke
  
     
Dai-Butsu
     "Dai-Butsu" (大仏) is a Japanese word for the "Great Buddha": The Buddha is variously called in Japanese, "Butsuda," "Butsu," "Hotoke" or more often with honorifics, "Hotoke-sama" or "Mi-Hotoke-sama."  The Great Buddha of Kamakura is a representation of Buddha Amitabha, the Lord of the Western Pure Land.  This Buddha is also called "Buddha Amitayus": Amitabha means "Infinite Light," and Amitayus "Infinite Life."  Buddha Amitabha is worshipped by the great majority of Japanese Buddhists, with the holy phrase, "Namu Amida Butsu" (Adoration be to Buddha Amitabha!).
  
History of Kamakura Daibustu-den (Kotoku-in Temple)

  Lady Inadano-tsubone, a lady attendant of the first Kamakura Shogun Yoritomo Minamoto (1147-1999) came to cherish the desire to have a Great Image of the Buddha.  After her master died in 1199, she left court-service in order to devote herself to raising funds for the construction of the Great Buddha image.  Her fervant endeavors moved everyone especially Joko, a priest in the Province of Totomi, who willingly cooperated with her in fund-raising by traveling all over the country.  Thanks to the compassion of the Buddha, enough funds were collected to start the work in 1238.
  The first image, which was completed in 1243 after five years of continuous labor, was a wooden one.  It was damaged by a storm in 1248.  Then the lady Idanono-tsubone and Priest Joko proposed to make it of bronze, offering the material.  However, a vast amount of money was needed to implement this purpose, so they made their last efforts to reconstruct it with the result that a bronze image was completed in 1252.  The inaugural ceremony was celebrated on August 17 of that year.  This is the image we see now in the precincts of the Kotoku-in Temple, Kamakura after the interval of seven centuries.
  The Great Buddha, who is sitting in the open air, was not always so.  Immediately after the wooden image was completed, a big hall to enshrine it was constructed in 1243.  But the storm that damaged the image in 1248 brought the hall to the ground.  A new hall was built in the same year when the bronze image was completed, but it was again destroyed by a storm in 1335.  Again it was reconstructed, but once again it was smashed by a heavy gale in 1368.  The fourth reconstruction that ensued served to enshrine the Buddha till 1495, when an unprecedented tidal wave swept the structure away, leaving the image exposed to the sun.  Archbishop Yuten (1637-1718), the 36th abbot of the Great Head Temple Zojo-ji of the Jodo sect, did his best to rebuilt the lost hall, but the project was discontinued at his death in 1718.  Therefore, since 1495 the Buddha has been sitting out-of-doors, come rain or shine.
  The big earthquake at 11:58 a.m. of Sept. 1st, 1923 did not harm the body but destroyed its base and it was repaired in 1926.  The latest repair was done in 1960-1961.  This repair reinforced the neck of the statue which supports the big head and made it possible for the Buddha's body to move freely on the base in the event of a strong earthquake.
    *Main reference: the Official Pamphlet of "Daibustu: The Great Buddha of Kamakura" (published by Mitsuo Sato, Kamakura Hase Kotoku-in Chief Priest)
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(Sunday 17 April) The stone tablet standing on the right, facing the temple-gate.  It reads "The Great Buddha, the Grand Head Temple for the thirty-three provinces in Eastern Japan, founded by the Emperor Shomu [701-756; r.724-749]."  It was erected in 1716.  Precisely, Emperor Shomu erected another Great Buddha at Todai-ji Temple, Nara.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Kamakura Dai-Butsu" (The Great Buddha of Kamakura), Hase, Kamakura.  

The physical data of "Kamakura Dai-Butsu"

  Date of construction: 1252 A.D.
  Casted by Goro-Uemon Ono, Hisatomo Tanji, etc.
  Weight: approx. 121.00 t
  Height: approx. 13.35 m
  Face: approx. 2.35 m
  Eye: approx. 1.00 m
  Ear: approx. 1.90 m
  Mouth: approx. 0.82 m.
  Knee to knee: approx. 9.10 m
  Circumference of thumb: approx. 0.85 m
  
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(Sunday 17 April) "Kamakura Dai-Butsu" (The Great Buddha of Kamakura), Hase, Kamakura
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(Sunday 17 April) "Kamakura Dai-Butsu" (The Great Buddha of Kamakura), Hase, Kamakura
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(Sunday 17 April) "Kamakura Dai-Butsu" (The Great Buddha of Kamakura), Hase, Kamakura
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(Sunday 17 April) "Kamakura Dai-Butsu" (The Great Buddha of Kamakura), Hase, Kamakura
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(Sunday 17 April) "Kamakura Dai-Butsu" (The Great Buddha of Kamakura), Hase, Kamakura
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(Sunday 17 April) Inside of "Kamakura Dai-Butsu" (The Great Buddha of Kamakura), Hase, Kamakura
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(Sunday 17 April) Inside of "Kamakura Dai-Butsu" (The Great Buddha of Kamakura), Hase, Kamakura
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(Sunday 17 April) The old building of "Kamakura Dai-Butsu" (The Great Buddha of Kamakura), Hase, Kamakura.  It was constructed in the fifteenth century in Korea and removed to this place in the middle of the twentieth century.
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(Sunday 17 April) The old stone tablet in the back of the precincts of "Kamakura Dai-Butsu" (The Great Buddha of Kamakura), Hase, Kamakura
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(Sunday 17 April) A stone monument dedicated to some foreigner (no data) in the precincts of "Kamakura Dai-Butsu" (The Great Buddha of Kamakura), Hase, Kamakura
  
     
Hase Kannon
     Hase Kannon Temple (長谷観音), formally called "Kaiko-san Jisho-in Hase-dera" Temple (海光山 長谷寺), was founded in AD 736 in the era of Emperor Shomu (聖武天皇, 701-756; r.724-749).  The following legends are associated with Hase-dera Temple.  In the 5th year of Yoro (養老5年) or AD 721, Reverend Tokudo-shonin (徳道上人) made two statues of the eleven-headed Goddess "Kannon" from "kusunoki" (楠; a holy camphor tree) trunk.  The sacred statue made from the lower part of the trunk was enshrined in Hase-dera Temple in Yamato, while the other statue made from the upper part was transferred to a related place and thrown into the sea with a prayer that it would reappear to save the people.  Sixteen years later, during the night of June 18th of the 8th year of Tempyo (天平8年) or AD 736, the latter statue drifted ashore.
  The statue then was transported to Kamakura, where Rev. Tokudo-Shonin who had been invited to come to construct a temple enshrined it as the central image called the "Center of Bliss."  This is believed to be the beginning of Hase-dera Temple.  It is also said that in the 1st year of Koei (1342), Takauji Ashikaga (足利尊氏, 1305-1358), the first Muromachi Shogun (r.1338-1358), had gold leaf applied to the statue, and in the 3rd year of Meitoku (明徳3年) or AD 1392, Yoshimitsu Ashikaga (足利義満, 1358-1408), the third Muromachi Shogun (1368-1394), had the halo added to it.  From what ancient writings reveal, it is concluded that Hase-dera Temple was already flourishing in the Kamakura Period (1192-1333).
    *Main reference: the Official Pamphlet of "Kamakura Hasedera or The Hase Kannon Temple"
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(Sunday 17 April) "San-mon" (Main Gate) of Hase-dera Temple, 3-11-2 Hase, Kamakura City
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(Sunday 17 April) "Jizo-sama" (Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva) on the left of "San-mon" of Hase-dera Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) Red Gate to "Benten-kustu" (Benten-kutsu Cave), Hase-dera Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) Benzai-ten image of "Benten-kutsu" (Benten-kutsu Cave), Hase-dera Temple.  Hase-dera's Benzai-ten is a small statue with 8 arms.  It is enshrined in the Benten Hall by the Hosho-ike Pond.  According to legends, it was Kobo-Daishi who carved it bby himself in seclusion, inspired by the Buddha.  On the wall of the Benten-kutsu Cave at the end of the hall, Benzai-ten and 16 children were engraved.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Manji-ike" Pond in front of "Jizo-do" Hall, Hase-dera Temple.  "Manji" is a crest of the Buddha.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Jizo-do" Hall, Hase-dera Temple.  The "Jizo Bosatsu" (Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva) is usually going around "Roku-do" (the Six Kinds of Worlds Where People Live in) for the purpose of remedy against people living in the world, through the no Buddha age during the time from Nirvana of the Buddha until the appearance of the "Miroku Bosatsu" (Maitreya Bodhisattva).
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(Sunday 17 April) Hundreds of small "Jizo" images near "Jizo-do" Hall, Hase-dera Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) "Sho-ro" or "Bon-sho" (Belfry), Hase-dera Temple.  The original bell was made by Sueshige Mononobe in 1264.  It is the third oldest bell of Kamakura.  The old bell is kept as a temple-hold treasure after the present bell was newly made in 1984.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Kannon-do" (Hall of Avalokitesvara), Hase-dera Temple.  This temple is known as the "Kannon Reijo" (Avalokitesvara Sacred Place) in which the "Ju-ichi-men Kanzeon" (the Eleven-Headed Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva) is dedicated.  This temple has been protested continuously by many people from ancient times such as "the Yon-ban Fudasho" (the Fourth Worship Gate) of "Bando Sanju-San Kannon" (Bando Thirty-third Kinds of Images of Avalokitesvara).
  This deity is famous.  The deity is known as "Hase Kannon" (Hase Avalokitesvara) from ancient times which was made by a wooden caved statue and its height is 9.18 m, the tallest in Japan.  Also, its unique figure of holding a stick in the right hand grip is known as "Hase-dera style" (the style of Hase-dera Temple).
  Tradition claims that this statue was created in 721 in Yamato, Hase, and that it drifted ashore near Kamakura in 736.  This temple was erected in dedication to the "Kannon" statue.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Amida-do" (Hall of Amida Buddha or the Eternal Buddha), Hase-dera Temple.  The central image is a seated Amida Buddha (2.8 meters tall).  Commissioned by the first Kamakura Shogun Yoritomo Minamoto (1147-1199; r.1192-1199).
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(Sunday 17 April) "Homotsu-kan" (Temple Treasure Museum), Hase-dera Temple.  It purports to keep and exhibit to the public the cultural properties and
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(Sunday 17 April) "Sekizo-Sei-Kannon" (Stone Statue of the Sacred Avalokitesvara), in front of the museum, Hase-dera Temple
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(Sunday 17 April) Bust of Masao Kume (1891-1952), writer: Ha-sen (A Wrecked Ship, a novel), Gyunyu-ya no Kyodai (Brothers of a Dairy, a play), etc.
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(Sunday 17 April) Yuigahama, the Saimokuza coast and the hills of the Miura Peninsula plunging into the sea, viewed from Kannon Hill, Hase-dera Temple.
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(Sunday 17 April) Yuigahama, the Saimokuza coast and the hills of the Miura Peninsuka plunging into the sea, viewed from Kannon Hill, Hase-dera Temple.
  
     
E-no-den Train
     E-no-den Train (江ノ電) or E-no-shima Dentesu Train (江ノ島電鉄) is very popular among Japanese people because its line runs near many sightseeing spots from Kamakura to Enoshima Island (江ノ島) along the Shonan Coast (湘南海岸), and the car's unique shape is also attractive.  It has been often filmed, photographed on TV, magazines, novels, etc.  Some people have argued where this is a train or a tram, although it does not matter to most people.
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(Sunday 17 April) An E-no-shima Dentesu Train at E-no-den Kamakura Station
  
     
Koshigoe
     Koshigoe (腰越), located in the west part of Kamakura, is the place strongly related to the tragic hero Yoshitsune Minamoto (1159-1189).
  In the Kamakura Period (1183 [1185 or 1192]-1333), Koshigoe was a functioned as a kind of barrier of Kamakura.  When Yoshitsune Minamoto (源 義経) returned here in triumph in May 1186, he was not allowed to pass the barrier.  Although he never understood why his brother Yoritomo acted harshly towards him, he stayed here at Mampuku-ji Temple (満福寺) and presented a petition with a beautiful words (widely known as "Koshigoe-jo" [腰越状]: The Petition from Koshigoe) to Hiromoto Oe (大江広元), who gained a firm trust of Yoritomo.  Oe, however, neglected Yoshitsune's petition because he was jealous of Yoshitsune's series of victory against the Hei-shi clan as well as Yoritomo.  Thus, Yoshitsune had to leave here and went back to Kyoto where the cunning retired emperor Goshirakawa (後白河法皇) tried to make use of him for fighting with Yoritomo: It was the just the beginning of Yoshitsune's tragedy.
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(Sunday 29 May) A painting featuring the story of Yoshitsune Minamoto, Koshigoe Station
  
     
Mampuku-ji Temple
     Ryugo-zan Mampuku-ji Temple (龍護山 満福寺) was founded by Gyoki (行基, 668-749) in AD 744.  It enshrines the three Yakushi-nyorai images [薬師如来; Skt. Bhechadjaguru; the Physician of Souls; middle), "Nikko-basatsu" (日光菩薩; Sunlight Bodhisattva; left) and "Gekko-bosatsu" (月光菩薩; Moonlight Bodhisattva; right)].  It belongs to the Shingon-shu sect of the Daikaku-ji-ha (真言宗 大覚寺派).
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(Sunday 29 May) Approach to Mampuku-ji Temple, Koshigoe
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(Sunday 29 May) Stone steps to Mampuku-ji Temple, Koshigoe
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(Sunday 29 May) "San-mon" (Main Gate) of Mampuku-ji Temple, Koshigoe.  
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(Sunday 29 May) "Hon-do" (Main Hall) of Mampuku-ji Temple, Koshigoe
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(Sunday 29 May) Monument built for comforting the soul of Yoshitsune Minamoto and "Benkei-no-Tedama-ishi" (Benkei's jackstones), Mampuku-ji Temple, Koshigoe.  People believe that Yoshitsune's famous retainer Musashibo-Benkei was a mighty giant while Yoshitsune was a small man with agile movements.
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(Sunday 29 May) "Benkei-no-Koshikake-ishi" (the stone Benkei was used to sit), Mampuku-ji Temple, Koshigoe
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(Sunday 29 May) "Katchu" (a suit of armour)  Courtesy of Mampuku-ji Temple, Koshigoe.
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(Sunday 29 May) Portrait of Musashibo-Benkei.  Courtesy of Mampuku-ji Temple, Koshigoe.  He was an ex-monk of Hiei-zan Enryaku-ji Temple, Kyoto.
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(Sunday 29 May) Portrait of Yoshitsune Minamoto (probably writing the famous petition).  Courtesy of Mampuku-ji Temple, Koshigoe.
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(Sunday 29 May) This picture probably describes the scene in which an officer of the Kamakura Shogunate took the new born-baby from Yoshitsune's lover Shizuka-gozen: It was said that the misfortunate baby was abandoned in the coast of Yui-ga-hama near the center of Kamakura.  Courtesy of Mampuku-ji Temple, Koshigoe.
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(Sunday 29 May) The picture describes the scene in which Yoshitsune and Benkei go across the mountains in the Hokuriku District on the way to Hiraizumi.  Courtesy of Mampuku-ji Temple, Koshigoe.
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(Sunday 29 May) "Benkei no Tachi-ojo" (the Last Stand of Benkei in Hiraizumi).  Courtesy of Mampuku-ji Temple, Koshigoe.
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(Sunday 29 May) Interior of "Hon-do" (Main Hall) enshrining the three Amida-nyorais ["Yakushi-nyorai" (Skt. Bhechadjaguru; the Physician of Souls; middle), "Nikko-basatsu" (Sunlight Bodhisattva; left) and "Gekko-bosatsu" (Moonlight Bodhisattva; right)].   Courtesy of Mampuku-ji Temple, Koshigoe.
  
     
Koyurugi-jinjya Shrine
     Koyurugi-jinjya Shrine (小動神社), 2-9-12 Koshigoe, Kamakura City.  It was founded by Moritsuna Sasaki (佐々木盛綱, ?-1216) in 1185.  According to the official record of the Kamakura Shogunate "Azuma Kagami" (『吾妻鏡』), Moritsuna followed Noriyori Minamoto (源範頼)'s troops to subjugate the Hei-shi clan, and he and his five retainers succeeded to bring Yukimori Taira (平 行盛; grand son of Kiyomori Taira, ?-1185) to justice in Kojima, Bizen (now part of Okayama) in December 1184.  To express his gratitude towards God, he finally found the ideal place to build a branch shrine of his clan's guardian god "Hachioji-gu" from Sakamoto, Omi-no-kuni (近江の国; now Otsu, Shiga) here in Koyurigi-san Hill in Enoshima.  So this shrine was originally called "Hachioji-gu" Shrine.
  In 1333, before Yoshisada Nitta (新田義貞, 1301-1338) began to attack the Hojo clan in Kamakura, he came here to pray for victory: His wish was certainly granted as the History tells.  To express his gratitude, Nitta donated a wonderful sword and gold towards the reconstructing fund of the new shrine.
  Lord of Odawara-jo Castle (小田原城), Tadazane Okubo (大久保 忠真, 1796-1837) wrote a tablet "San-jinjya" (The Three Shrines) and donated it to this shrine.  Thus this shrine worships the three gods: "[Takemina-] Susa-no-ono-mikoto " (建速須佐之男命), "Takemina-katano-kami" (建御名方神) and "Yamato Takeru-no-mikoto" (日本武尊).  It also enshrines "Toshitoku-jin" as a god under the three gods.  The former "Hachioji-gu" Shrine was renamed "Koyurugi-jinjya Shrine in Meiji 1 (1868).
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(Sunday 29 May) First Gate of Koyurugi-jinjya Shrine, Koshigoe
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(Sunday 29 May) Stone steps towards the Second Gate of Koyurugi-jinjya Shrine, Koshigoe
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(Sunday 29 May) "Hon-do" (Main Hall) of Koyurugi-jinjya Shrine, Koshigoe.  It was reconstructed by the Inoue family in 1817.  It was, however, damaged by the Great Kanto Earthquake on September 1, 1923.  The "Hon-den" (Main Hall) was restored, and the "Hai-den" (Worshippers' Hall) was reconstructed in December in 1929.
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(Sunday 29 May) "Kompira-sha" enshrining "Omono-nushi-no-kami" (left) and "Inari-sha" enshrining "Uga-no-Mitama-no-kami" in the precincts of Koyurugi-jinjya Shrine, Koshigoe
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(Sunday 29 May) "Dai-roku Ten-sha" enshrining "Dai-roku Ten-jin" (or "Omodaru-no-kami" in the precincts of Koyurugi-jinjya Shrine, Koshigoe
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(Sunday 29 May) Koshigoe Coast (a southern view from Koyurugi-jinjya Shrine, Koshigoe).
  After Yoshitsune Minamoto got suicide at his mansion in Hraizumi in 1189, his head cut off from his corpse was brought here in Koshigoe Coast to examine if it was real.  However, some historians still claim that it was not the real one.  Even now many Japanese people believe that Yohistune did not die in Hiraizumi.  There are so many legends and "proofs" which tell that Yoshitsune succeeded to escape from Hiraizumi and went to Hokkaido: Some people even believe that Yoshitsune finally reached the Continent over the Mamiya Channel and became Chinggis-Khan (1162?-1227).
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(Sunday 29 May) Koshigoe Coast (a northern view from Koyurugi-jinjya Shrine, Koshigoe)
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(Sunday 29 May) Eno-shima Island (a southern view from Koyurugi-jinjya Shrine, Koshigoe)
  
     
Sugimoto-dera
     Daizo-zan Sugimoto-dera Temple (大蔵山 杉本寺), 903 Nikaido (along Kanazawa Road).
  
  It was founded by Fusasaki Fujiwara (藤原 房前; the second son of Fuhito Fujiwara [藤原 不比等] and founder of the Fujiwara-Hokke [藤原北家], 681-737) and Gyoki (行基, 668-749) in AD 734 at the prayer of Empress Komyo (光明皇后, 701-760) who was the wife of Emperor Shomu (聖武天皇, 701-756; r.724-749): It is the oldest temple belonging to the Tendai-shu sect (天台宗) in Kamakura.  It was reconstructed by Yoritomo Minamoto in 1191 after the fire in 1189.
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(Sunday 17 April) Inscription of Sugimoto-dera Temple, 903 Nikaido (along Kanazawa Road)
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(Sunday 17 April) Stone steps to Sugimoto-dera Temple, Nikaido (along Kanazawa Road)
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(Sunday 17 April) "Nio-mon" (the Deva Gate, reconstructed in 1725), Sugimoto-dera Temple, Nikaido (along Kanazawa Road)
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(Sunday 17 April) The right side of "Nio-mon" (the Deva Gate), Sugimoto-dera Temple, Nikaido (along Kanazawa Road)
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(Sunday 17 April) The left side of Sugimoto-dera Temple, Nikaido (along Kanazawa Road)
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(Sunday 17 April) "Okura-Benzai-ten" Shrine in the precincts of Sugimoto-dera Temple, Nikaido (along Kanazawa Road)
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(Sunday 17 April) The mossy stone steps to "Hon-do" (Main Hall), Sugimoto-dera Temple, Nikaido (along Kanazawa Road)
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(Sunday 17 April) "Hon-do" (Main Hall, reconstructed in 1678), Sugimoto-dera Temple, Nikaido (along Kanazawa Road).  It enshrines the three "Juuichimen-Kannon-zos" (the Three Statues of the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy with Eleven Faces); the left one was made by Gyoki in 734, the middle one was made by Ennin (Jikaku-Daishi, 794-864) in and the right one by Genshin (942-1017) in 986.
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(Sunday 17 April) "Hon-do" (Main Hall), Sugimoto-dera Temple, Nikaido (along Kanazawa Road)
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(Sunday 17 April) The seven "Jizos" (Skt. Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva) and numerous "Gorin-no-To" (gravestones composed of five pieces piled up one upon another representing, from the bottom upward, earth, water, fire, wind, and heaven respectively) in the precincts of Sugimoto-dera Temple, Nikaido (along Kanazawa Road)
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(Sunday 17 April) The seven "Jizos" (Skt. Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva) in the precincts of Sugimoto-dera Temple, Nikaido (along Kanazawa Road)
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(Sunday 17 April) Hall for "Kumano Dai-Gongen" and "Hakusan Dai-Gongen" in the precincts of Sugimoto-dera Temple, Nikaido (along Kanazawa Road)
  
     
Hokoku-ji Temple
     Koshin-zan Hokoku-ji Temple (功臣山 報国寺), 2-7-4 Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
  
  Hokoku-ji Temple is one of the Zen Buddhist temples belonging to Kencho-ji Temple of the Rinzai sect (臨済宗建長寺派).  It was originated by Eko Tengan (天岸 慧広) in 1334 (the first year of Kenmu-era [建武元年]) to commemorate Ietoki Ashikaga (足利 家時, 1283-1317, grandfather of Takauji Ashikaga (足利 尊氏), the first Ashikaga Shogun.
  The principal image enshrined in the main hall is "Shaka-Nyorai-zazo" (釈迦如来座像; Beseated Statue of Shakamuni), which was crafted by a famous Buddhist sculptor, Takuma-hogan (宅間法眼), and is specified as a cultural property by Kamakura City.  In the annex, Kasho-do Hall (迦葉堂) enshrined, are a very well-featuring statue of the originator Butsujo-Zenji (佛乗襌師; Tengan's posthumous title) crafted in 1347, which is also a cultural property specified by Kamakura City, and a statue, "Kasho-Sonjya-zo" (Kasyapa).  In Kamakura Museum, many important treasures of this temple are preserved.  Among them are "Toki-Shu" (東帰集), a manuscript of Chinese poems written by the originator, a wooden stamp of the originator and a statue of "Sei-Kanzeon Bosatsu" (聖観世音菩薩像; the Sacred Buddhist Goddess of Mercy; Skt. Avalokitesvara; Ch. Kuan Yin); the first two of them are specified as important cultural properties by the Japanese Government.
  Moso-chiku (孟宗竹;a Chinese bamboo) grows where Eko Tengan's retreat used to be, and forms the current bamboo garden.
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(Sunday 29 May) "San-mon" (Temple Gate) of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The beseated "Kannon" (Skt. Avalokitesvara) image near the big tree, Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) "Shoro" (the belfry) of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) Numerous "Gorin-no-To" (gravestones composed of five pieces piled up one upon another representing, from the bottom upward, earth, water, fire, wind, and heaven respectively) in the precincts of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) "Shoro" (the belfry) and numerous "Gorin-no-To" (gravestones composed of five pieces piled up one upon another representing, from the bottom upward, earth, water, fire, wind, and heaven respectively) in the precincts of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) "Hon-do" (Main Hall), Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) "Hon-do" (Main Hall), Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road): There are more than 1,000 "Moso-dake" (the Moso bamboos) in the garden.
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(Sunday 29 May) The bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) At the teahouse in the bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) At the teahouse in the bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The statues of the seven Buddhists near the bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The sacred Buddhist cave in the north of the bamboo garden, Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The sacred Buddhist cave in the north of the bamboo garden, Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) "Hon-do" (Main Hall) viewed from the bamboo garden, Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) "Kare-sansui" (the Japanese dry garden influenced by Zen Buddhism), Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) "Kare-sansui" (the Japanese dry garden influenced by Zen Buddhism), Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The bamboo garden of Hokoku-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
  
     
Jomyo-ji Temple
     Toka-san Jomyo-ji Temple (稲荷山 浄妙寺), 3-8-31 Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
  
  Toka-san Jomyo-ji Temple is a "Tokusan" temple of the Rinzai-shu Kencho-ji sect (臨済宗建長寺派).  It is ranked fifth among the five great Zen temples of Kamakura.  Yoshikane Ashikaga (足利義兼, 1154?-1199), a famous Samurai and retainer of Yoritomo Minamoto, built in 1188.  The founding priest of the temple was Gyoryu Taiko (退耕行勇, 1163-1241).  The temple was originally a Tantric Buddhist temple.  It was converted to a Zen temple when Ryonen Geppo (月峯 了然), a disciple of Doryu Rankei (蘭溪 道隆), the founder of Kencho-ji Temple, became the head priest.  The name was changed to Jomyo-ji Temple between 1257-1259.  There have been many historically famous head priests such as, Tokuken Yakuo, Kennichi Koho, Bonsen Jikusen and Eko Tengan.  In 1386 when the third Ashikaga Shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga (足利義満, 1358-1408; r.1368-1394) designated the five great Zen Temples of Kamakura, the temple included seven buildings and 23 pagodas, but many of those were destroyed by fire.  Today the temple consists of the main gate, the main hall, the reception hall and the warehouse.
  
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(Sunday 29 May) "So-mon" (Temple Gate), Jomyo-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) "Hon-do" (Main Hall), Jomyo-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) "Hon-do" (Main Hall or "Hojo"[the abbot's chamber]), Jomyo-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) Grave of Sadauji Ashikaga (足利貞氏, 1273-1331), father of Takauji Ashikaga, the founder of the Ashikaga [Muromachi] Shogunate, Jomyo-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The teahouse "Kisen-an" and its "Kare-sansui" garden (the Japanese dry garden influenced by Zen Buddhism), Jomyo-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) A traditional Japanese stone basin called "chozu-bachi," part of a tsukubai for washing hands before the Japanese tea ceremony.  At the teahouse "Kisen-an," Jomyo-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The teahouse "Kisen-an" and its "Kare-sansui" garden (the Japanese dry garden influenced by Zen Buddhism), Jomyo-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) The teahouse "Kisen-an," Jomyo-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) A "suikinkutsu" (水琴窟; lit. Japanese water harp cave), Jomyo-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road).  A "suikinkutsu" is a Japanese garden ornament which is also an automatic musical instrument.  A "suikinkutsu" consists of an upside down buried pot with a hole at the top.  Water drips through the hole at the top onto a small pool of water inside of the pot, creating a pleasant splashing sound that rings inside of the pot similar to a bell or a Japanese harp called "koto."  The sound is a very mysterious sound healing your mind.   It is usually built next to a traditional Japanese stone basin called "chozu-bachi," part of a tsukubai for washing hands before the Japanese tea ceremony.  In the case of this teahouse, however, it is built in the opposite side of "chozu-bachi."
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(Sunday 29 May) A "suikinkutsu" (lit. Japanese water harp cave), Jomyo-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) A woman listen to the mysterious sound of the "suikinkutsu" (lit. Japanese water harp cave), Jomyo-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road), Jomyo-ji Temple, Jomyoji (along Kanawaza Road)
  
     
Kosoku-ji Temple
     Ganzo-san Kosoku-ji Temple (岩蔵山 光触寺), Jyuniso (十二所; along Kanazawa Road)
  
  Ganzo-san Kosoku-ji Temple (岩蔵山 光触寺; lit. Temple of Touching the Light) was founded by Ippen-Chishin (一遍上人, 1239-1289) in 1279.  It belongs to the Jishu sect.  It enshrines "Amida-San-zon-zo" (阿弥陀三尊像; the three images of Amida Buddha [Skt. Purva-pravidhna]).  It is famous for the flower garden.  The local people is also familiar to the statues of "Shio-name Jizo" (塩嘗地蔵; the Licking Salt Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva).
  
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(Sunday 29 May) "So-mon" (Temple Gate) of Kosoku-ji Temple, Jyuniso (along Kanazawa Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) "So-mon" (Temple Gate) of Kosoku-ji Temple, Jyuniso (along Kanazawa Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) Numerous old graves of Kosoku-ji Temple, Jyuniso (along Kanazawa Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) Statue of the founder Ippen-Chishin (1239-1289), Kosoku-ji Temple, Jyuniso (along Kanazawa Road)
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(Sunday 29 May) "Hon-do" (Main Hall) of Kosoku-ji Temple, Jyuniso (along Kanazawa Road).  It enshrines "Amida-San-zon-zo" (the three images of Amida Buddha [Skt. Purva-pravidhna]).  One of the Amida image is also called "Hoho-yake Amida" after the folklore:
  
  "In the long-ago days, a priest was arrested for committing theft: He was punished by branding a stigma in his cheek.  There was no scar or mark of the stigma how many times they tried to brand.  One day another priest found the mark of the stigma in the cheek of the Amida image.  Then people began to call the image "Hoho-yaki Amida."
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(Sunday 29 May) Statues of "Shio-name Jizo" (the Licking Salt Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva) Kosoku-ji Temple, Jyuniso (along Kanazawa Road).  There is another legend for the statues:
  
  In the long-ago days, a merchant, who used to pass the temple on the way to peddle around, offered some salt to the statues every day.  On return home, he always found the salt he offered was gone!  Then the local people gradually called the statues "Shio-name Jizo."
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(Sunday 29 May) Statue of "Shio-name Jizo" (the Licking Salt Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva), Kosoku-ji Temple, Jyuniso (along Kanazawa Road)



        


Copyright (c) 2005-2007 Eishiro Ito.  All rights reserved.