Sunday, July 16, 2017

"let him hear" - Golden Hall in To-ji Temple, Kyoto, since 1491

Shibuya District, Tokyo

Golden Hall in To-ji Temple, Kyoto, since 1491

There is an outstanding temple or a pagoda near the Kyoto Station every sightseer visiting Kyoto can take a look at from a Shinkansen super-express train.

Tō-ji (East Temple) is a Buddhist temple of the Shingon sect in Kyoto, Japan. It once had a partner, Sai-ji (West Temple) and, together, they stood alongside the Rashomon, gate to the Heian capital. It was formally known as Kyō-ō-gokoku-ji (The Temple for the Defense of the Nation by Means of the King of Doctrines) which indicates that it previously functioned as a temple providing protection for the nation.
It is said that To-ji was first built in 796 when the capital of Japan was moved from Heijyo-kyo (in Yamato, presently Nara Prefecture) to Heian-kyo.   It was soon given to one of the most prominent Buddhist priests in the Japanese history, Kukai.  Since then the temple stood there for more than 1200 years.

The To-ji temple (precincts: 255 m in east to west and 515 m in north to south) has two notable buildings as seen in the above picture: the Five-Story Pagoda and the Kondo or the Golden Hall.

The Five-Story Pagoda had been burnt down four times in the past.  The current one was built in 1644 by then shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu.  This Pagoda has now become a central symbol of Kyoto for tourism.

The Golde Hall had been also burnt down once but was rebuilt in 1491 as we see it today.  The building places 21 Buddhist statues built in various periods in the past (15 of them were built when the temple was built around 800).

One interesting point is that this symbol temple of Kyoto has its main building built almost when Columbus set sail on the Atlantic to reach America in 1492.  In other words, the Golden Hall of To-ji, the most outstanding temple of Kyoto, has the same history as America.

So, the year around 1500 seems to be so important that God left something even in Japan to remind people of the importance of the year 1500 or so.  It must be the Golden Hall of the To-ji temple with the impressive Five-Story Pagoda at the entrance of Kyoto.

Wooden Golden Hall of To-ji, Kyoto, since 1491

In my theory, the history of there 2000 years in the world is divided into four periods each of which lasted 500 years:
1 to 500: Start of diffusion of Christianity in the Roman Empire
500 to 1000: Spread of Christianity in post-Roman Empire Europe
1000 to 1500: Development of authority of the Vatican
1500 to 2000: Spread of Christianity in the whole world

As we now live in the last period between 1500 to 2000 or so, the year 1500 or 1492 (1491) is so important and symbolic even for the Japanese, which is attested by existence of the Golden Hall of To-ji, the symbolic Buddhist temple in Kyoto, the most famous historic city in Japan.

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Mar 7:16 If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.