Monday, October 6, 2014

Enko-ji, Yasugi

I took a detour around some hills rather than continue on along the main road because I find main roads far less interesting or enjoyable, but also because when studying the maps before my walk I noticed a small temple with a pagoda.

There was no-one around at the temple and no signboards so I have been unable to find out anything about it other than that it belongs to the Soto sect of Zen.

The pagoda is an east asian development of the Nepalese stupa. In China its architecture adopted elements from towers and palaces and that is the form that became adopted in Japan where they are exclusively connected to Buddhism.

The one at Enko-ji is a Tahoto, a Japanese style believed to have originated in the Heian Period. Whereas almost all pagodas have an even number of storeys, the tahoto has only 2, the lower square and the upper round.

A distinctive feature of Japanese pagodas is how far out the eaves extend and overhang, something common to many traditional types of structure and believed to be so that the abundant rainfall of Japan can be kept away from the structures foundations.


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