Glossary: place - temple

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Chougaku-ji (長岳寺)

A Kouyan-Shingon temple built in 824 by Kuukai for Emperor Junna with Amida Nyorai as its principle buddha (the first one in Japan to have crystal eyes). The bell tower of the temple, built in the Heian Period (794-1185) is also Japan's oldest and the only structure built by Kuukai from that time period.

The garden of the temple is located just through the bell tower gate, and on the left is the main temple building. The ceiling of the main temple is known as the "bloody ceiling". When Ryuuouzan Castle behind the temple was attacked by Matsunaga Hisahide during the Sengoku Period, there was also fighting within the temple. It's said that the blood of soldiers flowed from the open corridor into the main temple. The floorboards were later used as ceiling boards, and the bloody footprints from that time can still be clearly seen.

Chougosonshi-ji (朝護孫子寺)

Also known as: Shigisan-ji, Shigi no Bishamon-san

Chougosonshi Temple is a famous Shigisan-Shingon temple located about halfway up Mt. Shigi in Nara. The temple is the head temple of Bishamonten and was built by Prince Regent Shoutoku in 594 in the spot where Bishamonten was said to have first appeared in Japan in the month, year, and day of the Tiger.

The temple houses the Shigisan Engi emaki, a scroll painted in the Heian Era.

Enryaku-ji (延暦寺)

Enryaku-ji is a Tendai monastery located on Mount Hiei, established by Saichou in 788 during the early Heian Period (794 - 1185). Oda Nobunaga leveled Enryaku-ji in 1571 in order to end the power of the Tendai warrior monks.

Erin-ji (恵林寺)

Lit.: Temple of the Blessed Forest; house temple of Takeda Shingen of Kai which was burned to the ground by Oda Nobunaga during his invasion of the province in 1582. The temple was restored during the Tokugawa period of peace.

Hase-dera (長谷寺)

A Buddhist temple of the Buzan School of the Shingon-shu in Nara which was built in the 17th century.

Honnou-ji (本能寺)

A Nichirenshu Buddhist temple located in Kyoto, famous for being the site at which Oda Nobunaga was betrayed and murdered by his vassal Akechi Mitsuhide.

Houryuu-ji (法隆寺)

Also known as: Houryuu Gakumonji (法隆学問寺), Ikaruga-dera (斑鳩寺)

Built by Prince Shoutoku in 607, Houryuu Temple is one of Japan's most celebrated temples and contains some of the oldest wooden structures in the world. It is a National Treasure of Japan and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Jikou-ji (慈光寺)

Lit. Light of Mercy Temple

A temple of the Shingon school of Esoteric Buddhism located in the suburbs of Sendai. The head abbot of the temple is Kokuryou Keinosuke.

The temple is likely fictional. There are real temples named "Jikou", but apparently none in Sendai.

Kougen-ji (光厳寺)

Lit: "Temple of Stern Light"

Kougen-ji is the temple belonging to the Tachibana family located in Utsunomiya. It is a branch of Shingon-shu Buzan-ha and is one of the leading family-run temples of the city.

Probably fictional; (there is a <a href="http://risshi.web.infoseek.co.jp/cubkh15.html" class="glossary">Kougonji Temple</a> written with the same Kanji, but it is located in Akirunoshi.)

Kuuhachi-san (空鉢さん)

Also known as: Kuuhachi Gohoudou (空鉢護法堂)

A shrine that stands at the summit of Mt. Shigi, devoted to the Dragon God, a protective deity and a servant of Bishamonten. Many offerings of eggs, the Dragon God's favorite food, are placed in the temple. The Dragon God is said to grant a wish to those who make a hundred pilgrimages to his shrine.

The path to the shrine is lined with red shrine arches, and takes around 35 minutes to climb. Since there is no water at the summit, visitors customarily take a container from the hand-washing place at the bottom of the path and carry it up.

Meiji-Jinguu Stadium (明治神宮野球場)

Tokyo's oldest professional baseball park which opened in 1926 and is home to the Yakult Swallows. Located in Shinjuku, Tokyo.

Rinnou-ji (輪王寺)

Rinnou Temple is a Tendai Buddhist complex located in Nikkou, Tochigi Prefecture. It was founded by in 766 by Holy Priest Shoudou and became an attractive retreat for those seeking solitude due to its location deep in the mountains of Japan.

In 1590, during the Siege of Odawara, Toyotomi Hideyoshi seized the temple for supporting the Houjou side, causing its decline. However, during the Tokugawa Shogunate Tenkai became the chief priest of the temple and began its revival.

Many structures and artifacts within the temple are designated National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties. One of the most famous is its main building, Sanbutsudou (三仏堂) or Three Buddha Hall, so-named because it houses large gold lacquered wooden statues of Amida, Senju-Kannon ("Kannon with a thousand arms") and Bato-Kannon ("Kannon with a horse head"). The three deities are regarded as Buddhist manifestations of the three mountain deities of Nikkou enshrined at Futarasan Shrine.

The Black Gate, which is uniformly black from its pillars to its roof tiles, guards the entrance to both Sanbutsudou and the Treasure House.

The Kaizandou, or Founder's Hall, enshrines Shoudou and is located to the north of Toushou Shrine.

Shoukon-dou (招魂堂)

Shoukon Temple is the small temple at the top of Saijo-yama.

Souun-ji (早雲寺)

Souun Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Rinzai School located in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture. Its principle buddha is Sakyamuni. Within the temple are the tombs of five generations of the Houjou Clan as well as a monument to the renga poet Sougi and portraits of Houjou Souun, Houjou Ujitsuna, and Houjou Ujiyasu.

The temple was built by Ujitsuna in 1521 by the last request of Houjou Souun. The army of Toyotomi Hideyoshi used it as its headquarters during the Siege of Odawara in 1590 and later burned it to the ground. It was later restored by the monk Kikukei in 1627 and given official temple status in 1648.

Toudai-ji (東大寺)

Lit. "Great Eastern Temple". A famous Buddhist temple complex first established by Emperor Shoumu in 743, located in Nara City. It is a World Heritage site, part of the seven "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara", and many of its temples and other structures are listed as National Treasures of Japan. Its Daibutsuden (大仏殿), or Great Buddha Hall, houses a sixteen-meter-high (52-foot) bronze statue of Dainichi Nyorai (also known as Daibutsu) and is reportedly the largest wooden building in the world. Deer roam the grounds freely.

The statue of Dainichi Nyorai, which is the largest in Japan, has been recast several times, and the Daibutsuden has been rebuilt twice after fire, with the current building finished in 1709 after it was burned down during the Matsunaga Hisahide-Miyoshi conflict in 1567. The two 28-foot guardian Niou at the Great Southern Gate temple entrance were dismantled and repaired by two teams of 13 and 12 art experts from 1988 to 1991? 1993?.

The surrounding gardens and temples are today considered part of the Toudai templex complex.

Other structures of the temple complex listed as National Treasures of Japan are:

- Nandai-mon (南大門)—Great Southern Gate: destroyed by a hurricane in 962, rebuilt in 1199 according to an architectural style used in the Chinese Song dynasty.
- Kaizan-dou (開山堂)—Hall of the Founder: a temple built to house the wooden image of the first chief abbot, created in the 9th century. Its inner sanctuary was built in 1200, its nave built in 1250.
- Shourou (鐘楼)—Bell Tower: built in the beginning of the 13th century, the Bell Tower houses a temple bell cast in 752 and was the largest of its kind until the Middle Ages.
- Hokke-dou/Sangatsu-dou (法華堂/三月堂)—Hall of the Flowering Dharma/Hall of the Third Month: this temple stands on the eastern side of the compound at the base of the Wakakusa Mountain Range. It is one of the few structures remaining from the Nara Period and is thought to have been completed in 743. A dozen or so statues of buddhas are enshrined in this temple. Its principle buddha is Fukuukenjaku Kannon.
- Nigatsu-dou (二月堂)—Hall of the Second Month: a temple named after the sacred water-drawing ceremony, a type of Buddhist mass, held in the second month of the lunar calendar. The temple was burned down from a fire set accidentally during one of these rites in 1667 and was rebuilt 2 years later. The temple houses two eleven-faced Goddesses of Mercy called the Large Goddess of Mercy (Oogannon—大観音) and the Small Goddess of Mercy (Kogannon—小観音). No one is allowed to look upon these mysterious goddesses. The temple itself was named a National Treasure in December, 2005.
- Tegai-mon (転害門)—Revolving Evil Gate: an eight-foot gate which stands in the north-west of the compound, one of the few structures that escaped both the battle-fire of Taira no Shigehira in 1180 and the Miyoshi-Matsunaga conflict in 1567. It was repaired in the Kamakura Period, but is still fundamentally the structure as it was built in the Nara Period.