Showing posts with label jocho. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jocho. Show all posts

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Rengon-in Temple 63 Kyushu Pilgrimage


Number 63 on the 108 temple Kyushu Pilgrimage is Rengon-in located in Kashima on the Ariake Sea in Saga.

It was originally founded in the late 8th Century and later became part of a large monastic complex named Kongosho-in that had a connection with Kakuban, an important priest in Shingon who was born nearby.

Kongosho-in was a powerful temple with many sub-temples but it was destroyed during the Warring States Period of the 16th Century. Only Rengon-in survived and is believed to currently occupy the site  of the Kondo of Kongosho-in.

The Treasure House contains three statues from the Heian Period that are registered as National Important Cultural Properties, one level below National Treasure. The two Yakushi and one Amida statues are prized as rare examples of Jocho-style sculptures.

Jocho was a sculptor of the late Heian Period who popularized the technique of making sculptures out of several pieces of wood. This enabled more assistants to work. He also standardized proportions, again making production more efficient. His style was dominant for more than a century, though not so many pieces remain.

When I visited the temple was thatched but a few years ago it was completely rebuilt and now looks like any other small temple. I visited in the early morning of my 59th day walking the Kyushu Pilgrimage.

The previous post was an overview of day 58.