Sunday, October 21, 2012

Higashi Honganji - Kyoto

"Now, Life is living you"

I was struck by this message on the wall surrounding the Higashi Honganji mother temple. "Now, Life is living you".  I believe we should live life. Not the other way around. Perhaps this is a wake up call.  The Shakyamuni Buddha taught a path to self awakening. "Through this, one is able to become aware of the futility and suffering caused by one's actions and eventually come to truly appreciate life as it is." (from Higashi Honganji - The Teaching of Jodo Shin-shu) 

A door leading to the Goeidō

When Kennyo the 11th  Monshu (Chief Priest) of the Jodo Shin-shu sect passed away in 1592, he named his third son, Junnyo, his successor. This created a conflict between Junnyo and Kyōnyo, the eldest son. Hideyoshi who arbitrated in this dispute of succession asked Kyōnyo to step down. In 1602, Kyōnyo, received land from the shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu. There he built his own temple. Honganji was thus divided into two branches. Higashi (East) Honganji became the head temple of the Otani-ha branch of Jodo Shin-shu.

The Veranda of the Goeidō

The Goeidō Hall (Founder's Hall) is one of the largest wooden structures in the world.  It houses the image of Shinran, the founder of Jodo Shin-shu Buddhism. One architectural element of this hall is its long and sweeping veranda which wraps around the building. The  building is 250 ft. long and 190 ft. wide. The wooden flooring is polished to a sheen. I would tread lightly on this beauty. The Amida Hall is under renovation and may be closed to the public. The current temple halls were reconstructed in 1879 and completed in 1895.

One of the gates to the temple complex

The Higashi  Honganji is a short walk from Kyoto Station. There is no fee to enter the temple. It's addres is
Karasuma Shichi-jō Agaru
Shimogyō-ku, Kyoto
www.higashihonganji.or.jp

Hours of Operation:
Oct. 5:50 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Nov–Feb. 6:20 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 
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Images by Charie

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