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Chuson-ji
Prayer for Peace in Iwate
Date:31, Mar, 2018
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
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Good evening, everybody! Tonight's feature is the Chuson-ji temple in Iwate, Japan. It is the head temple of the Tendai sect in Tōhoku region. Its Deity is Shaka Nyorai.

Most people probably say "I have never heard the temple" or "I just know but have never been actually." They almost feature the Konjiki-do when deal with the temple. Haven't you ever watched the enshrinement hall all plated with gold? It's said as the origin of a misunderstanding that Japan was Zipangu; a Nation of Gold.

Why was it so plated with gold?



The temple was originally built by Fujiwara-no Kiyohira ( 1056 – 1128 ) in the latter of the Heian era. The central government was set in Kyoto at the time, but they were difficult to directly control faraway areas like the Tohoku region since there were neither airplanes nor trains.

So they trusted the Fujiwara-no family with governing the rural areas. Kiyohira is the first of the family. He built the temple in order to pray for peace when he was almost over 50 years old.



The local area included a great vein of gold at the time. There had constantly been a lot of wars around the gold vein. Kiyohira used gold from the vein, built the gorgeous hall, praying for peace.

You may say "Kiyohira must have built the gold temple for showing off their luxury! The temple is just like a pyramid!"

Wouldn't you use your imagination now? Kiyohira almost spent his 50 years in countless battles. Many bodies, many deaths were always around him. It is not so difficult to imagine he had probably lived with insecurity and fear all the time. He was natural, therefore, to pray for peace that prevailed on the Tohoku area, I guess.







 

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