|Sect||Shō-Kannon (independent school)|
|Deity|| Shō Kannon Bosatsu |
|Location||2-3-1 Asakusa, Taitō-ku, Tokyo|
Sensō-ji(金龍山浅草寺Kinryū-zan Sensō-ji) is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. It is Tokyo's oldest temple, and one of its most significant. Formerly associated with the Tendai sect of Buddhism, it became independent after World War II. Adjacent to the temple is a five-story pagoda, Shinto shrine, the Asakusa Shrine, as well as many shops with traditional goods in the Nakamise-dōri
Tendai is a Mahayana Buddhist school established in Japan in the year 806 by a monk named Saicho also known as Dengyō Daishi. The Tendai school rose to prominence during the Heian Period of Japan, gradually eclipsing the powerful Hosso school and competing with the upcoming Shingon school to become the most influential at the Imperial court. However, political entanglements during the Genpei War led many disaffected monks to leave and in some cases to establish their own schools of Buddhism such as Jodo Shu, Nichiren Shu and Soto Zen. Destruction of the head temple Mount Hiei by warlord Oda Nobunaga further weakened Tendai's influence as well as the geographic shift of Japan's capital to Edo away from Kyoto.
A sect is a subgroup of a religious, political, or philosophical belief system, usually an offshoot of a larger group. Although the term was originally a classification for religious separated groups, it can now refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and principles.
Buddhism is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies. Buddhism originated in ancient India as a Sramana tradition sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE, spreading through much of Asia. Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravada and Mahayana.
The Sensoji Kannon temple is dedicated to Kannon Bosatsu, the Bodhisattva of compassion, and is the most widely visited spiritual site in the world with over 30 million visitors annually.
Guanyin or Guan Yin is the most commonly used Chinese translation of the bodhisattva known as Avalokiteśvara. In English usage, Guanyin refers to the Buddhist bodhisattva associated with compassion and venerated chiefly by followers of Mahayana Buddhist schools as practiced in the sinosphere. Guanyin also refers to the bodhisattva as adopted by other Eastern religions such as Taoism, where she is revered as an immortal, as well as Chinese folk religions, where the mythical accounts about Guanyin's origins do not associate with the Avalokiteśvara described in Buddhist sutras.. In English, she is often known as the "Goddess of Mercy" or the Mercy Goddess. The Chinese name Guanyin, is short for Guanshiyin, which means "[The One Who] Perceives the Sounds of the World". In Nepal Mandal Guanyin is worshipeed as Jana Baha Dyah, Karunamaya, Seto Machindranath.
The temple has a titanium tiled roof that maintains the historic image but is stronger and lighter.
The temple is dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon (Avalokiteśvara). According to legend, a statue of the Kannon was found in the Sumida River in 628 by two fishermen, the brothers Hinokuma Hamanari and Hinokuma Takenari. The chief of their village, Hajino Nakamoto, recognized the sanctity of the statue and enshrined it by remodeling his own house into a small temple in Asakusa so that the villagers could worship Kannon.
In Buddhism, a Bodhisattva is any person who is on the path towards Buddhahood but has not yet attained it.
Avalokiteśvara or Padmapani is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. This bodhisattva is variably depicted, described and portrayed in different cultures as either male or female. In Tibet, he is known as Chenrezik, and in Cambodia as "អវលោកិតេស្វរៈ". In Chinese Buddhism, Avalokiteśvara has evolved into the somewhat different female figure Guanyin. In Japan this figure is known as Kanzeon or Kannon. In Nepal Mandal this figure is known as Jana Baha Dyah, Karunamaya, Seto Machindranath.
The Sumida River is a river that flows through Tokyo, Japan. It branches from the Arakawa River at Iwabuchi and flows into Tokyo Bay. Its tributaries include the Kanda and Shakujii rivers.
The first temple was founded in 645 AD, which makes it the oldest temple in Tokyo.In the early years of the Tokugawa shogunate, Tokugawa Ieyasu designated Sensō-ji as tutelary temple of the Tokugawa clan.
The Tokugawa Shogunate, also known as the Tokugawa Bakufu (徳川幕府) and the Edo Bakufu (江戸幕府), was the last feudal Japanese military government, which existed between 1603 and 1867. The head of government was the shōgun, and each was a member of the Tokugawa clan. The Tokugawa shogunate ruled from Edo Castle and the years of the shogunate became known as the Edo period. This time is also called the Tokugawa period or pre-modern.
Tokugawa Ieyasu was the founder and first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan, which effectively ruled Japan from the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600 until the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Ieyasu seized power in 1600, received appointment as shōgun in 1603, and abdicated from office in 1605, but remained in power until his death in 1616. His given name is sometimes spelled Iyeyasu, according to the historical pronunciation of the kana character he. Ieyasu was posthumously enshrined at Nikkō Tōshō-gū with the name Tōshō Daigongen (東照大権現). He was one of the three unifiers of Japan, along with his former lord Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
A tutelary is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of "tutelary" expresses the concept of safety, and thus of guardianship.
The Nishinomiya Inari shrine is located within the precincts of Sensō-ji and a torii identifies the entry into the hallowed ground of the shrine. A bronze plaque on the gateway structure lists those who contributed to the construction of the torii, which was erected in 1727 ( Kyōhō 12, 11th month).
A torii is a traditional Japanese gate most commonly found at the entrance of or within a Shinto shrine, where it symbolically marks the transition from the mundane to the sacred.
Kyōhō (享保), also pronounced Kyōho, was a Japanese era name after Shōtoku and before Gembun. This period spanned the years from July 1716 through April 1736. The reigning emperors were Nakamikado-tennō (中御門天皇) and Sakuramachi-tennō (桜町天皇).
During World War II, the temple was bombed and destroyed during the 10 March air raid on Tokyo. It was rebuilt later and is a symbol of rebirth and peace to the Japanese people. In the courtyard there is a tree that was hit by a bomb in the air raids, and it had regrown in the husk of the old tree and is a similar symbol to the temple itself.
Sensō-ji is the focus of Tokyo's largest and most popular festival, Sanja Matsuri. This takes place over 3–4 days in late spring, and sees the surrounding streets closed to traffic from dawn until late evening.
Dominating the entrance to the temple is the Kaminarimon or "Thunder Gate". This imposing Buddhist structure features a massive paper lantern dramatically painted in vivid red-and-black tones to suggest thunderclouds and lightning. Beyond the Kaminarimon is Nakamise-dori with its shops, followed by the Hōzōmon or "Treasure House Gate" which provides the entrance to the inner complex. Within the precincts stand a stately five-story pagoda and the main hall, devoted to Kannon.
Many tourists, both Japanese and from abroad, visit Sensō-ji every year. Catering to the visiting crowds, the surrounding area has many traditional shops and eating places that feature traditional dishes (hand-made noodles, sushi, tempura, etc.). Nakamise-Dori, the street leading from the Thunder Gate to the temple itself, is lined with small shops selling souvenirs ranging from fans, ukiyo-e (woodblock prints), kimono and other robes, Buddhist scrolls, traditional sweets, to Godzilla toys, t-shirts and mobile phone straps. These shops themselves are part of a living tradition of selling to pilgrims who walked to Sensō-ji.
Within the temple itself, and also at many places on its approach, there are o-mikuji stalls. For a suggested donation of 100 yen, visitors may consult the oracle and divine answers to their questions. Querents shake labelled sticks from enclosed metal containers and read the corresponding answers they retrieve from one of 100 possible drawers.
Within the temple is a quiet contemplative garden kept in the distinctive Japanese style.
The Nakamise-dōri(仲見世通り) is a street on the approach to the temple. It is said to have come about in the early 18th century, when neighbors of Sensō-ji were granted permission to set up shops on the approach to the temple. However, in May 1885 the government of Tokyo ordered all shop owners to leave. In December of that same year the area was reconstructed in Western-style brick. During the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake many of the shops were destroyed, then rebuilt in 1925 using concrete, only to be destroyed again during the bombings of World War II.
The length of the street is approximately 250 meters and contains around 89 shops.
Edo, also romanized as Jedo, Yedo or Yeddo, is the former name of Tokyo. It was the seat of power for the Tokugawa shogunate, which ruled Japan from 1603 to 1868. During this period, it grew to become one of the largest cities in the world and home to an urban culture centered on the notion of a "floating world".
Taitō is a special ward located in Tokyo Metropolis, Japan. In English, it is known as Taitō City.
Asakusa (浅草) is a district in Taitō, Tokyo, Japan, famous for the Sensō-ji, a Buddhist temple dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon. There are several other temples in Asakusa, as well as various festivals, such as the Sanja Matsuri.
Mount Kōya is the common name of a huge temple settlement in Wakayama Prefecture to the south of Osaka. In the strict sense, Kōya-san is the so-called "mountain name" sangō (山号) of the Kongōbu-Temple, the ecclesiastical headquarters of the "Koyasan Shingon School".
Asakusa Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in the Asakusa district of Tokyo, Japan.
Itsukushima (厳島) is an island in the western part of the Inland Sea of Japan, located in the northwest of Hiroshima Bay. It is popularly known as Miyajima (宮島), which in Japanese means "Shrine Island". The island is one of Hayashi Gahō's Three Views of Japan specified in 1643. Itsukushima is part of the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture. The island was part of the former town of Miyajima before the 2005 merger with Hatsukaichi.
Tsurugaoka Hachimangū (鶴岡八幡宮) is the most important Shinto shrine in the city of Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The shrine is at the geographical and cultural center of the city of Kamakura, which has largely grown around it and its 1.8 km approach. It is the venue of many of its most important festivals, and hosts two museums.
Ninna-ji is the head temple of the Omuro school of the Shingon Sect of Buddhism. Located in western Kyoto, Japan, it was founded in AD 888 by the retired Emperor Uda. It is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ōfuna Kannon Temple is a Buddhist temple in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The outstanding feature of the temple is a 25 metres (82 ft), 1900-ton reinforced concrete statue of the bodhisattva Kannon.
Shitennō-ji is a Buddhist temple in Ōsaka, Japan. It is sometimes regarded as the first Buddhist and oldest officially administered temple in Japan, although the temple buildings have been rebuilt over the centuries.
Tanzan Shrine, also known as the Danzan Shrine, the Tōnomine Shrine and the Tōnomine Temple, is a Shinto shrine in Sakurai, Nara Prefecture, Japan.
Sanja Matsuri, or Sanja Festival, is one of the three great Shinto festivals in Tokyo. It is considered one of the wildest and largest. The festival is held in honor of Hinokuma Hamanari, Hinokuma Takenari, and Hajino Nakatomo, the three men who established and founded the Sensō-ji Buddhist temple. Sanja Matsuri is held on the third weekend of every May at Asakusa Shrine. Its prominent parades revolve around three mikoshi, as well as traditional music and dancing. Over the course of three days, the festival attracts 1.5 to 2 million locals and tourists every year.
Daisen-ji is a Buddhist temple in the town of Daisen, Tottori, Japan. The temple is built on the slopes of Daisen. The Amida-dō and other parts of the temple are designated National Treasures of Japan.
Rinnō-ji (輪王寺) is a Tendai Buddhist temple buildings in the city of Nikkō, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan.
The Kaminarimon is the outer of two large entrance gates that ultimately leads to the Sensō-ji in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. The gate, with its lantern and statues, is popular with tourists. It stands 11.7 m tall, 11.4 m wide and covers an area of 69.3 m2. The first gate was built in 941, but the current gate dates from 1960, after the previous gate was destroyed in a fire in 1865.
The Hōzōmon is the inner of two large entrance gates that ultimately leads to the Sensō-ji in Asakusa, Tokyo. A two-story gate (nijūmon), the Hōzōmon's second story houses many of the Sensō-ji's treasures. The first story houses two statues, three lanterns and two large sandals. It stands 22.7 metres (74 ft) tall, 21 metres (69 ft) wide, and 8 metres (26 ft) deep.
A gongen (権現), literally "incarnation", was believed to be the manifestation of a buddha in the form of an indigenous kami, an entity who had come to guide the people to salvation, during the era of shinbutsu-shūgō in premodern Japan. The words gonge (権化) and kegen (化現) are synonyms for gongen. Gongen shinkō (権現信仰) is the term for belief in the existence of gongen.
This is the glossary of Japanese Buddhism, including major terms the casual reader might find useful in understanding articles on the subject. Words followed by an asterisk (*) are illustrated by an image in one of the photo galleries. Within definitions, words set in boldface are defined elsewhere in the glossary.
Toyokawa Inari (豊川稲荷) is the popular name for a Buddhist temple of the Sōtō sect located in the city of Toyokawa in eastern Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The temple’s true name is 妙厳寺 (Myōgon-ji), or full name is Enpukuzan Toyokawa-kaku, Myōgon-ji. Despite the torii gate at the entrance, and the popular identification of its main image of veneration with Inari Okami, the Shinto kami of fertility, rice, agriculture, industry and worldly success, the institution is a Buddhist temple and has no overt association with the Shinto religion.
The Akihasan Hongū Akiha Jinja (秋葉山本宮秋葉神社) is a Shinto shrine in Tenryū-ku, Hamamatsu. The shrine is located near the summit of Mount Akiha, on the southern slopes of the Akaishi Mountains. It is the head shrine of the 800 Akiha shrines around the country.
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