Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Kannondo Shrine Tojin Yashiki


The Kannondo was constructed in 1737 although it was repaired and rebuilt several times with the current building dating to 1917.

The arched stone gate is believed to be older and to date back to before the Tojin Yashiki compound was dismantled in the late 19th century

Kannon is the Japanese name for Guanyin, the bodhisattva that is commonly referred to as the Goddess of Mercy. Originally an Indian deity, Guanyin was believed to be originally male in form but in China and East Asia is now usually depicted as female.

Guanyin also became a popular deity among various branches of Chinese folk religions. Enshrined alongside Guanyin here is also Guanyu,  a popular deity associated with business prosperity and also enshrined in the nearby Tenkodo Shrine.

The only Japanese allowed to enter Tojin Yashiki were prostitutes from the Maruyama district as no Chinese women were allowed to reside within the walls. Unlike at the Dutch compound of Dejima, these courtesans were not allowed to stay overnight.

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