Friday, April 15, 2011

Kato Mado Update

At least one reader asked to see pictures of the temple itself from yesterday's post, so I went back this afternoon to get a few more shots. Here's the view from just outside the main gate:

You can see the kato mado on either end of the main hall. The temple goes by the name of Shinkoji, or Pure Light Temple, and was originally constructed in the reign of the Emporer Koutoku (645 - 654 CE). The current structure dates from sometime after 1585 when a fire caused by war destroyed the original.

Shinkoji belongs to the Sōtō school of zen which practices shikantaza, a form of zazen often referred to as "just sitting."

In the past, Sōtō zen was derogatorily called "farmer zen" due to its widespread appeal — a term which seems appropriate out here in the "countryside."

I'd also like to happily report that this venerable temple has not yet made it onto Google maps — the English version at least. It's good to know there are still some quiet outposts which have escaped the monster's tentacles.

I'll leave you with a shot of some of the hand-carved scrollwork from the building you can see just peeping out on the left in the picture above.

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