Saturday, June 26, 2021

Kinzanji the Oldest Temple in Okayama


According to records, Kinzani Temple was founded bu the monk Hoon Daishi, under orders of Empress Koken, in the year 749, which makes it the oldest surviving temple in Okayama.

Also known as Kanayam Kannonji, I came across the temple quite unexpectedly while walking  through the mountain north of Okayama City and spied a large, old pagoda on the hillside.

Qith its dilapidated Nio gate, onky foundations stones of the formerly huge main hall, and a couple of structures other than the pagoda, it looked like it was obviouslt a very major temple coplex in former times, but now almost abandoned.

However there was a walled compound that was home to a cluster of buildings, including what I guessed was the priests home and a small main hall. It is now a Tendau sect temple and apparently home to one of the infamous "Naked Festivals" where hordes of men and boys in loin-cloths jostle for good luck charms....