I had my third photograph exhibition in July 2013.
Theme : Temple architecture of important cultural properties in Ibaraki prefecture
|Main hall of Satake-ji temple||Main hall of Yakuo-in temple||Main hall of Bussho-ji temple(Octagon hall)||Sambutsu-do hall of Ryuzen-ji temple||Three-story pagoda of Oyama-ji temple
|Pagoda of Raigo-in temple||Gate of Ryogon-ji temple||Tower gate of Zenko-ji temple||Deva gate of Sairen-ji temple||Sorin tower of Sairen-ji temple|
|Ref: Shiramizu Amitabha hall(Fukushima Pref.)||Ref: Sorin-to tower of Joho-ji(Gunma Pref.)|
Visiting this place, I felt that I was standing actually at the special holy place. It was rebuilt in 1915-16 then about 100 years have past and next rebuilt would be not far future. Then, big structural change might be applied as removal of "mokoshi"(lower surrounding roof).
This hall is five-span("ken")-square but one span in front is, quite strange, vacant except two round pillars in both sides. Then it looks like the hall of five spans in width and four spans in depth. Very many "senja-fuda" (votive card) are pasted on the front wall and doors. (Here span("ken") is the interval of two pillars and does not mean the specific length.)
Big hall of seven span in width and five span in depth.
Impressive 'keraba'(verge) is seen. 'Kera' is 'mole cricket' and 'ba' is 'wing'. 'Keraba' comes from its shape looks like the wing of mole cricket.
Octagon hall is not so common in temples in Japan. This octagon hall is damaged by The Great East Japan Earthquake(March 11, 2011) and wholly repaired. When my exhibition was held, the hall was disassembled for repair and I couldn't see the hall except for foundation stones.
Three Buddha statues(Sambutsu) are worshipped here. "Mokoshi" is attached in both side and back. Usually mokosh" surrounds four sides of the hall but here mokoshi is attached to only three sides. They say this structure is the only one example in Japan. Also mokoshi is the space outside main room partitioned by the wall, but here floor of main room and mokoshi is continuous. This is exceptional case about mokoshi.
Three stairs are seen. One in center for entering main room and two in both sides for entering mokoshi.
Shumidan is the most wholly place in each hall of temple. Usually the hall of temple is opened for only special periods each year and otherwise we can't see shumidan. For me, when I visited Sambutsu-do hall, it is opened for a group of study tour then I could enter the hall with them.
Just looks like the keyboard of the piano. When it was rebuilt, some parts were reused and the others were replaced with the new ones. Then such coloring was produced.
This time I got to know the structure of taho-to pagoda. It means tower of "much treasure". First floor is square, second is round, and the roof is square. Such pagoda can be seen rather frequently as well as three-storied pagoda and five-storied pagoda.
Sorin of taho-to pagoda has a standardized form of taho-to pagoda. From the top of sorin, four chains are suspended to four corners of the roof. Wind bells are hanged on the chain. In three-storied and five-storied pagodas similar sorin is seen at the top of the roof, but there is no chain and no wind bell.
Only the gate is seen in the midst of rice field. There are no main hall nor guest hall around here. Actually main hall is very far and inside deep woods. It's a mystery why only the gate was built far from the temple site.
Usually temple gate can not be seen as a side view because in many cases there are other structures of the temple in both side of the gate. This is a rare example.
Tower gate is two-story gate but this is different. It was designed as a tower gate and started to build but by any interruption the original design was abandoned and completed as a usual gate. Unlike Sanmon gate of Ryogon-ji temple mentioned above, there is an straight approach to the main hall rather near. If you go to the main hall, you will be surprised because the main hall is completely abandoned now and heavily destroyed. It is shown in the Japanese language page of this site.
9b design of the back side
Impressive "Kaerumata"(open-legged frog). It is also a typical design of Muromachi era. Kaerumata is placed on the main beam of the gate and supports upper structure.
Pillar was repaired by cutting off the damaged portion as pentagonal shape and wood was shaved as the same shape, then embedded. There are another repair of more complicated shape. Thus we can imagine how repair of the cultural properties is made.
Sorin-to pillar is one of the most strange structure in Japanese temples, I think. Purpose and usage are not known well. There are very few sorin-to pillars in Japan, maybe less than ten. Three sorin-to pillars are designated as the important cultural properties in Japan, Mt. Hiei(near Kyoto), Nikko and Sairen-ji. This one is very special because its top is the symbolized "gorin-to" tower(five ring tower). There is no such type of sorin-to tower in Japan.
What is it on earth? Large number of names of people as farmer, peasant, priest, samurai, etc are engraved. It is said more than 5,000 names can be seen.
When I saw it alone at night, I had an illusion that people whose names are engraved are closing to me with scream. I feel energetic excitement from engraved names.
This is the portion of symbolized "gorin-to" tower.
I saw this national treasure "Shiramizu Amitabha hall" and interested in temple architecture, leading photograph exhibition of this time.
This is the most similar Sorin-to pillar to one of Sairen-ji temple. Large number of people's names are engraved. Names seen here are much less than Sairen-ji Sorin-to pillar but engraved characters are much neat and showing high formality. However, I am more attracted to Sairen-ji Sorin-to pillar that causes energetic excitement.