Showing posts with label obaku. Show all posts
Showing posts with label obaku. Show all posts

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Shofukuji Temple Nagasaki


Shofukuji is the 4th of the Chinese temples built in Nagasaki during the Edo Period. Like  nearby Fukusaiji Temple, it is not located in Teramachi like Sofukuji and Kofukuji, but north of the river.

The Sanmon, the main gate, was built in 1703. Along with the other main structures of Shofukuji, it is an Important Cultural Property and is currently undergoing major renovation.

Shofukuji was founded in 1677 by a disciple of Ingen, the founder of the  Obaku sect of Zen which had been founded in 1661. The other three Chinese temples became Obaku after 1661, but Shofukuji is the only one founded as Obaku.

The Tenmoden was built in 1705. The Japanese carpenters had started to slightly adapt and alter the Chinese style architecture.

When I visited in 2014 the place was deserted, somewhat run-down, and with no entry fee, so this contributed to an atmosphere. It is now undergoing major renovations so I suspect it will have an entry fee in the future.

The Tenmoden Hall contains a large statue of Hotei, one of the Seven Lucky Gods in Japan, and originally a Chinese monk named Budai. In the West, he is often referred to as the Laughing Buddha.

The main hall, Daiyuhoden, was built in 1697. Unlike the other Chinese temples in Nagasaki, much of the woodwork here was left unpainted.

The Bell Tower was built in 1716. Unusually the bell was not "donated" to the war effort in the 1940's like most temple bells.

Another difference between Shofukuji and the other Chinese temples in Nagasaki is that Shofukuji always had Japanese priests, whereas the other three started with Chinese priests.

The Kawarabei is an old wall constructed using old rooftiles and other decorations like Onigawara. Another thing to look out for is a monument to a young woman named Oharu who was expelled from Japan when all foreigners, excluding the Dutch, were expelled. Any Japanese families of Europeans expelled were also exiled. Also in 2020 a statue of Ryoma Sakamoto was erected to memorialize a meeting that took place here between the Tosa and Kishu clans.

The previous post in this series documenting my explorations of Nagasaki on Day 60 of my Kyushu Pilgrimage was on the statuary and architectural details of Kofukuiji Temple.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Kofukuji Temple Details


Cracked Ice is the name given to this style of wooden lattice which was very populr in China in the 17th century. Irregular, and as seen here in a window at Kofukuji Temple in Nagasaki, it was made without using nails. This one originally had glass behind it but after the atomic bomb blast was replaced with wood.

Ther is not particularly a lot of statuary on display at Kofukuji, but I was happy to find a couple of Fudo Myo statues.

Known as Budon Mingwang in Chinese, I strongly suspect these were put here after the temple became Japanese.

While there are some Japanese features of the architecture of Kofukuji, most is Chinese, Ming in style. Many of the buildings, including 19th century rebuildings, were manufactured in China and sent to Nagasaki.

As I mentioned, there is not a lot of statuary at Kofukuji, and little in the way of formal gardens, but still I found it quite photogenic,... which is why I have so many photos, hence this second post.

The Gyoban, or "Fish Drum" is a male version. The ball in its mouth symbolizes human desire that is expelled when the drum is hit. Now a second, female, gyoban hangs below this one.

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Standing in front of the statue of Mazu are a pair of beings called Senrigan and Junpuji, said to have been tamed by Mazu. Junpuji means "ears that hear through the winds".

For more details and photos on Kofukuji, please see the previous post Kofukuji Temple.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Kofukuji Temple Nagasaki


Kofukuji was the first of the four"Chinese" temples built in Nagasaki.

The Sanmon, main gate, is the largest temple gate in Nagasaki and was rebuilt in Japanese style in 1690 following the destruction by fire of the original Chinese style gate built in 1654, when the Chinese Zen master known in Japan as Ingen was in residence.

The main hall, Daio Hoden, was originally built in 1632 and then rebuilt in 1689 following the fire . It was damaged by a storm in 1865 and then rebuilt in its current form in 1883. Chinese in style, all the wood was prepared in China and shipped to Nagasaki.

The Sanko Kaisha Gate is all that remains of a compound built within the temple grounds for Chinese from the three SE provinces and included lodgings and meeting halls. All except the gate were severely damaged by the atom bomb blast and subsequently demolished.

Kofukuji was established as a Buddhist temple in 1623 toffer funerals and memorial services to the resident Chinese and also possibly to affirm to the authorities that the Chinese were not in any way Christian.

The Honzon enshrined in the main hall is the historical Buddha, known as Shaka Nyorai in Japanese and Daio in Chinese.

The temple expanded greatly after the arrival and residence of  the Chinese monk Yin Yuan, known as Ingen in Japanese. He brought the latest zen teachings and later founded Manpukuji Temple in Kyoto and subsequently the Obaku sect. Kofukuji then became an Obaku temple.

The Maso Do, or Mazu Hall, dates back to 1670 replacing the original that was destroyed by fire. A shrine to Mazu, a seafaring goddess carried on all Chinese ships, was the origin of Kofukuji Temple. The building is completely Chinese in style with many specifically Obaku features.

The gyoban is a wooden fish that is struck like a bell to call monks to meals and is found at many zen temples. The one here at Kofukuji is quite magnificent.

The Maso -do is mostly Japanese architecturally, though some features are obaku.

The belfry is also jaanese in style. The bell was "donated" to the war effort, like many temple bells, in the 1940's

The previous post in this series on day 60 of my Kyushu Pilgrimage was Enmeiji, the temple next door.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Sofukuji Temple Ryugumon


The main gate to Sofukuji Temple in Nagasaki must be one of the most photographed sites in the city. Ryugumon means Dragon Palace Gate.

The temple was built in 1629 with much of the architecture built and transported from China.

The Ryugumon was originally built in 1673 but was damaged and rebuilt several times. The current gate dates back to 1849.

Sofukuji is one of four big Chinese temples built in the early 17th century and belongs to the Obaku Zen sect.

Another of these temples, Kofukuji, lies to the north, and between it and Sofukuji is Nagasaki Teramachi, a line of temples set against the hillside.

The next temple on the Kyushu Pilgrimage is in Teramachi and this was where I was heading on Day 60.

The previous post was on one of the Chinese shrines, Tenkodo, in the old Chinese district of Tojin Yashiki.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Fumyo-ji Temple Kashima


I have to admit that I thought that Fumyoji was an abandoned temple when I passed by the entrance.

It was mid-winter so all the trees and plants were bare, but the paths were overgrown with weeds and there was no sign of any recent maintenance or human activity of any kind.

Fumyoji was established in 1677 as the family temple for the local rulers, the Nabeshima Family. In the woods behind the min hall are the graves of successive lords of the domain, though I did not venture to them.

Kashima Domain was quite a small domain, actually a sub-domain of Saga. They were not big enough to be allowed a castle. Fumyoji was an Obaku sect temple. Obaku being the most recent form of Zen Buddhism introduced into Japan via Nagasaki earlier in the 17th century.

Fumyoji is said to be modeled on Manpuku-ji in Kyoto, the head temple of the sect.

The previous post in this series exploring day 59 of my walk around Kyushu was Tanjo-in Temple.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Shinguuzenji the Southernmost Obaku Temple in Japan

On the fortieth day of my walk around Kyushu I woke at first light and brushed the thick coating of frost off my bag and quickly headed downhill to get my circulation going. There was a thick, freezing fog but I guessed it was still well before sunrise. I have no watch nor phone so am never sure of the clock-time.

After reaching the Kuma River Valley I turned  East and headed along the valley on the south side along the edge of the mountains where the traditional settlements were and are and usually where you find the shrines and temples. The next pilgrimage temple should be reachable before the end of the day.

I soon came to a Chinese-style gate and a large statue of Kannon so headed in to explore. There was no-one about as it was still too early.

This was Shinguuzenji Temple, founded in the early 15th century and later converted to the Obaku Zen sect. Obaku was the last of the Chinese zen sects to be imported and so still retained more Chinese style in architecture etc. Apparently, this is the southernmost Obaku Temple in Japan.

The Autumn colors muted by the mist were quite impressive.....