Showing posts with label nichiren. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nichiren. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Honmyoji Temple


At the end of the long approach to Honmyoji Temple, visitors arrive at the Chuomon gate which, to me, looks quite Chinese in design and style. Honmyoji belongs to the Nichiren sect and is the highest-ranking temple of the sect in Kyushu. It was founded by the famous warrior Kato Kiyomasa who was a fervent follower of Nichiren.

It was originay founded by Kiyomasa in Osaka in 1585 to console the spirit of his deceased father, In 1600 the teple was relocated to within the grounds of Kumamoto Castle where Kiyomasa was based. In 1611 Kiyomasa was buried in a grave on the hilltop above where the temple now stands, looking over Kumamototo the castle.

The temple was moved to its present site in 1614. The current main hall however ony dates back to 1884, being rebuilt after it was burned down during the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877. There is a museum devoted to Kiyomasa in the temple grounds. 

The temple and the park around the grave on the hilltop are very popular during the cherry blossom season, and on the last weekend, in March the cherry trees and the approach road up to the temple are illuminated. 

Monday, March 22, 2021

The Approach to Honmyoji Temple


Honmyoji is probably the most important and most visited temple in Kumamoto City. It was built by the great warlord Kato Kiyomasa and his grave lies above the temple. After climbing an intial flight of steps you pass through the huge Niomon, a modern, concrete structure.

High up in the Niomon are a pair of Nio guardian statues, but they appear small and not at all imposing. From here a long approach heads up the slope to the temple itself.

Lining each side of the approach are twelve smaller temples called Tatchu which were originally small buildings that interred the ashes of head priests but which grew into small sub-temples.

The route is lined with many stone lanterns, and a few of the temples have statues and small gardens. I visited on  Saturday November 39th, 2013 on the 46th day of my walk around Kyushu and so there was still plenty of autumn foliage to be seen.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Inside Seirei at Nose Myokensan

Looking up from the center of the floor at the Seirei Hall of the Nichiren temple on top of Nose Myokensan.

The altar to the Bodisattva Myoken on the upper floor which is made of glass and is suspended from the roof. Designed by Shin Takamatsu.

Four figures, 2 female and 2 male, representing the Bodhisattvas of the 4 directions hang over the hall.

Only open to the public once a month, I was lucky enough to get permission to photograph inside, but I wish I had more time to spend in this amazing structure. Photos of the outside are in this previous post.

Looking directly up from below the glass floor.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Seirei by Shin Takamatsu

I've posted photos of the works of Shimane born architect Shin Takamatsu quite a few times. I do like his work and there are a lot of them in my neighborhood, but I finally made a trip to the sacred  mountain of  Nose Myoken San to see a work that I have wanted to see for ages.

On top of the mountain is a Nichiren temple to Myoken, the Pole Star, and Takamatsu was asked to design a new worship hall which is named Seirei.

Its floorplan is in the shape of a star, and the materials are glass, metal, and wood. The wood was taken from trees on the mountaintop site.

It is open just one day a month, but I got permission to go inside so I will post photos of that next.....

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Onomichi Temple Walk, Myosenji


After visiting Ushitora Shrine, it was still too early for the first cable car/ropeway  up the mountainside so I carried on exploring temples. Nearby was Myosenji.


It has quite an impressive approach and gate.


With its raked gravel garden one might think it was a zen temple, but in fact it belongs to the Nichiren sect and was founded in 1354.


The only interesting piece of information I have been able to find out about Myosenji is that behind the main hall is a Kiyomasa Kato-do, a memorial hall to the famous warlord who was known to be a big supporter of the Nichiren sect.