Sanjusangendo (Sanjūsangen-dō)


Sanjusangendo( Sanjūsangendō) is that the widespread name for Rengeo-in, a temple in jap city that is known for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the immortal of mercy. The temple was supported in 1164 and restored a century later once the initial structure had been destroyed in an exceedingly hearth.


Measuring a hundred and twenty meters, the temple hall is Japan’s longest wood structure. The name Sanjusangendo (literally “33 intervals”) derives from the quantity of intervals between the building’s support columns, a standard methodology of activity the dimensions of a building. within the center of the most hall sits an oversized, wood sculpture of a 1000-armed Kannon (SenjuKannon) that’s flanked on all sides by five hundred statues of human sized 1000-armed Kannon standing in 10 rows. along they create for associate amazing sight.

Sanjusangendo  temple interior
Sanjusangendo temple interior

1000-armed Kannonar equipped with eleven heads to raised witness the suffering of humans and with a thousand arms to raised facilitate them fight the suffering. Note that the particular statues have solely forty two arms every. cypher the 2 regular arms and multiply by the twenty five planes of existence to urge the total thousand.


A temple engineered by the notable military leader tayra no Kiyomori for Emperor Go-Shirakawa in 1164, Sanjusangendo is primarily notable for its thousand statues of the immortal of Compassion Kannon in her thousand armed incarnation on the whole length of the 33 ken (unit of measurement) hall from that the temple gets its denomination.  The temple advanced wont to be larger till a hearth decimated it and solely the most hall was restored, however guests ar over content with the spectacular contents of the long wood structure.  Not solely is that the hall stuffed with the golden faces of m Kannons, however twenty eight statues of Buddhist guardian deities conjointly line the front row.  The hall itself shows its age within the several arrow notches which will be found within the wood on the sting of the building, proof of the Tōshiya sport competition once control at the temple many years agone.


One of Sanjusangendo’s well-known aspects is that the statuary housed in its main hall created by a team light-emitting diode by sculpture masters father and son Unkei and Tankei (1173-1256). organized in 10 rows and fifty columns, the thousand statues of the immortal of Compassion ar product of Japanese cypress coated in gold foil.  Of the thousand, 124 are originals from the temple’s instauration that were saved from destruction in an exceedingly 1249 hearth, whereas the remainder were replaced within the thirteenth century.


The thousand human-sized sculptures flank a far larger statue of the supernatural being that is the principle object of worship and is additionally a National Treasure.  The thousand-armed Kannon is claimed to own eleven heads with that to raised see the suffering of world, and one thousand arms with that to avoid wasting those in would like. although the statues solely have forty two arms, each holds a special item or is control in an exceedingly Buddhist image.  Look rigorously at their faces, as it’s aforesaid that among the Kannon statues is one that resembles the person you long to fulfill.

Sanjusangendo  temple statues
Sanjusangendo temple statues

Guardian Deities

In addition to the Thousand Armed Kannon statues, the hall is lined with twenty eight guardian deities whose origins dwell Hinduism.  There are numerous theories on however the ideas unfold to Japan, however they somehow created their method across Asia within the style of Indo-Aryan texts and over the ocean to Japan wherever the Hindu deities of Shiva, Vishnu, Lakshmi, Brahma and additional found new lives as fusion deities in Buddhism.  The deities currently serve to safeguard the immortal Kannon.


Willow Trees

Scattered round the Sanjūsangen-dōar willow trees, their long, inexperienced branches hanging all the way down to the bottom.  These willows are employed in the temple’s annual ceremony of the Willow, once the branches are wont to purify those participants United Nations agency return for a blessing.  The temple is additionally far-famed for its rather original omamori, or protecting charm, that is termed a zutsūfūji.  This charm to keep off headaches contains a chunk of willow branch, additionally as a Sanskrit literature that asks the immortal Kannon to heal the holder of their afflictions.


Taira no Kiyamori, the notable military leader United Nations agency control political management over the imperial court at the peak of his power within the late Heian amount, created Sanjusangendo in 1164 at the command of Emperor Go-Shirakawa to function his retirement palace from that he would exercise cloistered rule (the apple of associate emperor formally abdicating the throne however continued to rule behind the scenes). sadly, the massive advanced burned down in 1249, and solely the most hall was reconstructed in 1266 by order of Emperor Go-Saga.  Of the initial one,001Kannon statues, 124 were saved from the burning building and also the remaining were commissioned once the temple was restored.


ToyotomiHideyoshi (1536 – 1598),the second “great unifier” of Japan, wanted to imitate the good Buddha in {nara|National Archives associated Records Administration|NARA|independent agency} and engineered a hall simply north of Sanjusangendo encircled by an stuff wall.  This wall, referred to as the taikōbei (Regent’s wall), will still be seen nowadays.

Sanjusangendo  temple
Sanjusangendo temple

Sanjusangendo was the supposed sight of a notable duel between the wandering person Miyamoto Musashi and also the leader of the distinguished Yoshioka-ryū faculty of acquirement, Yoshioka Denshichirō, in 1604.  It’s aforesaid that Denshichirō challenged the lordless samurai to a duel so as to require revenge for his brother, Yoshioka Seijūrō, whose arm was game by Musashi in an exceedingly duel outside Rendai-ji Temple. consistent with the stories, Miyamoto Musashi handily disarmed his steel staff-wielding opponent outside the temple, winning the duel.  He would later prolong to kill succeeding leader of the weapon system faculty, the young Yoshioka Matashichiro, at a duel organized outside Ichijō-ji Temple, so destroying that branch of the Yoshioka-ryū before he left city.


Sanjusangendo is home to a well-liked sport contest referred to as the Tōshiya. although the origin of the competition is unclear, it had been already a longtime event by the Momoyama amount (1583-1600). a very notable person named AsaokaHeibei is attributable with popularizing the competition back in 1606 by with success shooting fifty one arrows.  With the 33 ken (120m) long hall as a measure of distance, archers would shoot from the southern finish of the structure to associate erected target at the northern finish. numerous events were a part of the competition, together with the “One Hundred Shots” (Hyaku-i) and “One Thousand Shots” (Sen-i) challenges, within which the archers United Nations agency created the foremost hits were the winners.  Young boys participated within the Hiyakazu and tried to shoot as several arrows as potential for a twelve hour amount, and men competed within the Ōyakazu to try to to a similar in an exceedingly 24 hour amount.


Meticulous records of the popular competition were unbroken within the style of wood certificates displayed within the temple that listed the champions by name, age, and arrows used. trendy guests could also be appalled to find out that in one827 associate eleven year previous named Kokura Gishichi with success hit the target with 995 of his 1,000 arrows, or that in 1686 associate eighteen year previous named WasaDaihachiro shot thirteen,053 arrows over the amount of each day, landing 8,133 shots and averaging nine arrows a second. once 255 years the competition was led to 1861, although it survives partially with the temple’s ŌmatoTaikai sport competition control for coming back older Day on a Sunday in mid-January.

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