Showing posts with label teramachi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label teramachi. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Daikoji Temple Nagasaki


Daikoji is a very large temple along Teramachi in Nagasaki. It was established in 1614 and belongs to the Jodo Shinshu sect. The honzon is an Amida Nyorai.

Just inside the first gate is a statue of Shinran ( 1173-1263 ) the founder of the Jodo Shinshu sect, currently the largest in Japan, and known in English as True Pure Land.

Daikoji was established by the monk Keiryo and is a branch of the Nishi Hoinganji Temple in Kyoto. It was moved to its current location in 1660. He is known as one of the Five Nagasaki Monks, who, I am guessing, represented different sects and were tasked by the government with re-establishing Buddhism in Nagasaki after Chritianity was outlawed.

There is actually very little to see at Daikoji. For the historically-minded, the cemetery has the tombs of the Motoki family who were Dutch interpreters, and during Saigo's Satsuma Rebellion officers of the Imperial army lodged here.

The bell tower is striking in that the mud walls have not been plastered.

The previous post was on next door's Shofukuji Temple Gate.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Kitsuki Teramachi


One of the new rules set up by the new Tokugawa Shogunate when they gained control of Japan following the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 was that each of the daimyo, the great lords who controlled their own territory, would be limited to having just a single castle in their domain.

An associated edict was that all the samurai belonging to the lord must reside in said castle town. Both these laws were meant to make the daimyo less of a potential threat to the government and also resulted in the rapid growth of urban areas.

These castle towns generally followed similar layouts, with the highest ranking samurai living in the immediate vicinity of the castle, surrounded by lower-ranked samurai, and then the trades, merchants, and other commoners necessary to support these towns of samurai were usually grouped together in planned areas. sake brewers for instance tended to be built in the same area, and famously the sex industry was confined to specific locations.

To serve the needs of the growing urban population the towns would need many new temples and these would often be built right next to each other in an area named Teramachi, or "temple town". Many former castle towns will have a street now called teramachi.

Kitsuki, the small former castle town on the southern edge of the Kunisaki Peninsula in Oita, Kyushu, has a teramachi to the west of the main part of the town.

Some of the temples are quite large, and as is typical, a wide range of sects are found adjacent to each other. Teramachi tend not to have many famous temples, they are after all relatively modern and were primarily established to serve the funerary needs of the commoners. The daimyo would usually establish their own family temples and these would usually not be in the teramachi.

However, an exploration of teramachi will often result in finding interesting statuary, small gardens etc.

This final photo of a Fudo is not from the teramchi in Kitsuki, but another temple, Komyoin, that I had visited on a previous trip to Kitsuki.

Ema Votive Plaques

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

More Hagi Teramachi


The temple district, Teramachi, in Hagi is not on the main tourist route in the town but is well worth a visit if you are in Hagi for more than one day. There are a few historical buildings, a maze of narrow lanes, and of course temples... a few of which I have already posted about.


Kaichoji is a fairly large temple with an impressive gate, but what is interesting is the main hall which was originally built as a Confucian shrine. It was located at the Meirinkan, the domain school that revered Confucius. After the temple burned down in 1874 they purchased the hall and rebuilt it here as the temples main hall.


Red-bibbed Jizo abound, as do cemeteries. In my area graves are built behind houses, but in many places in Japan they are located at temples.


One can often see huge pyramids composed of gravestones, usually belonging to people who no longer have an living relatives in the area to care for them. These quite large, smooth rocks are unmarked and are I believe marker stones to unknown people.