Notes on the Geography of Japan: Nishi-Honganji
This is the mother temple for some 12 million Shin ("Faith") Buddhists, members of the Jodo-Shinshu sect established by Shinran Shonin in the 13th Century. Its roots go back still farther to the priest Ennin, who introduced a simple form of Buddhism called Nembutsu, according to which salvation and eternal paradise can be won by the heartfelt repetition of the phrase "Name Amida Butsu" ("save me, Amida Buddha"). As of 2001 there wasn't a lot to see--as you will see.
Chinoiserie, a la Japonais: this is a detail from the (permanently closed) southern gate to the temple.
The Honganji Founder's Hall, or Goeido, is presently wrapped in sheet-metal, as it undergoes a complete rehabilitation. Expected completion date: 2008.
Might as well be an aircraft hangar.
Ah, but there are surprises--on request. Unlock the door and behold...
Hiun-kaku, the "pavilion of floating clouds." It's a tea room, moved here in 1615, when the nearby Fushimi Castle was destroyed.
Late afternoon: the main gate is about to swing shut.
With the inertia, then the momentum of a Zurich vault door.
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