Wednesday, July 9, 2008

day 191 - Hontokuji (alternate spelling!)

Another angle of the drum tower. Drums were sounded to warn the people if Himeji (or the temple) was in imminent danger of attack.)

Himeji Castle.

Himeji Castle's inspiration?

The more I look at it, the more I'm convinced that the Drum Tower inspired the curving lines of Himejijo. While the tower dates from the early 1500s, the temple has an even more intriguing history. Apparently (and please correct anything here if you think it's wrong), Himeji's Temple was destroyed by earthquake in 1854. A completely new temple was built. This new one was totally razed by fire in 1868. The 'Mother' Hontokuji of the Shin sect in Kyoto decided to donate their school from the temple surrounds in Kyoto. Over 3 years, this place of higher learning was dismantled and brought piece by piece to Himeji where it was completed as the new temple in 1873! (Thanks to Shima who translated the information above from the old Japanese.)

Shima looks at just a small part of the huge temple-complex.

Part of the beautiful floral mandala painted on the ceiling by Yoshiko Ishikawa.

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