The Hokkedo hall of Todaiji temple

Hokkedo hall of the Todaiji temple is not a popular tourist attraction.
However, it is the oldest hall in Todaiji temple.
Because the hall is the origin of Todaiji temple.
[ Tourist spot in Nara city to introduce today ]
Hokkedo is not very famous for tourists.
There are not many tourists whose destination is Hokkedo hall.
Tourists come to see Nigatsudo hall and some of them will look Hokkedo hall after that.
However the Hokkedo hall is the oldest structure at Todaiji temple.
And many old Buddha images are enshrined.
In March(Sangatsu) of the lunar calendar the Hokke-e came to be held, so it is said that it was also called Hokke-do, and also Sangatsu-do.
[ The Hokkedo hall of Todaiji temple ]
This hall is located on the east side of Kaizando hall introduced yesterday, and it is on the south side of Nigatsudo hall.
This is Hokkedo hall of Todaiji temple.

The front (south face) of Hokkedo hall of Todaoji temple

The west face of Hokkedo hall of Todaoji temple

The north face of Hokkedo hall of Todaoji temple

The east face of Hokkedo hall of Todaoji temple

The front part of this hall is irimoya-zukuri and the rear part is yosemune-zukuri.
In the basic form of the roof, there are "Kirizuma-zukuri(gable roof structure)" ,"Yosemune-zukuri(hipped roof structure)" and "Irimoya-zukuri(hip-and-gable roof structure)" in addition to "Hogyo-zukuri(pyramid roof structure)" such as Kaizando hall.
Kirizuma-zukuri has a roof which is inclined to both sides from the ridge, it is just like opening the book and lying down.
Yosemune-zukuri is a structure with a roof surface that is inclined in four directions.
Irimoya-zukuri has a gradient in two directions like a kirizuma-zukuri in the upper part, and gradient in the four directions like a yosemune-zukuri in the lower part.
[ History of Hokkaido hall of Todaiji temple ]
When Todaiji temple did not exist yet, Hokkedo hall was called "Kensakudo hall".
And what including the surrounding structures was called Kensakuin temple.
Kensakuin temple that enshrine Fukukensaku-Kannon as the principal image was founded in the early eighth century by Roben.
This is the oldest structure in Todaiji temple.
This hall was already there when Todaiji does not exist.
Because the predecessor of Todaiji is Kinshoji temple and its predecessor is Kensakuin temple.
Originally the image hall(shodo) and the worship hall(raido) stood side by side.
However, about 800 years ago, these halls were reconstructed to have a hip-and-gable roof, and the two halls were connected.
[ The images worshiped in Hokkedo hall of Todaiji temple ]
Currently, the principal image of Buddha which is enshrined in the hall is the image of the Fukukensaku Kannon Bodhisattva, with a height of 362 centimeters.
It seems that timber harvested around 739 is used for this image, and it seems to had been made by around 750.
The image has three eyes and eight hands.
The left hand of the image has something like a chain, this is what is called Kensaku.
("Kensaku" is kensaku of Fuku-kensaku Kannon Bodhisattva.)
Kensaku is a lasso which is originally used for hunting, but it is said that it will save people by using it.
On both sides of the Kannon image the Bonten image and the Taishakuten image are enshrined.
Bonten image is 402 cm and Teiten image is 403 cm.
In front of the Kannon image, the Ungyo image and Agyo image of Kongorikishi, Zikokuten image and Zochoten image are enshrined.
Behind the Kannon image, the Komokuten image and the Tamonten image are enshrined.
These images are made in the Nara period.
(The Nara period is from 710 to 794.)
And Shukongoshin image is enshrined in a zushi behind the Kannon image, its image is not normally visible because the door of zushi is closed.
We can only see the image on December 16.
In addition, it is said to be a nenjibutsu (a statue of Buddha kept beside the person) of Roben Sojo.
Roben did not become priest yet before he founded the Kensakudo hall.
He enshrined the Shukongoshin image and was struggling to practice Buddhist asceticisms on Higashiyama in Heijo-kyo.

[ Opening times and location of Hokkedo hall ]
Admission fee: Free of charge
Opening hours:7:30 - 17: 30 (April - October), 8:00 - 17: 00 (November - March)
[ Approximate Latitude and Longitude of Hokkedo hall ]
In Google Maps, you can find the location of tourist spots with latitude and longitude.
The following latitudes and longitudes are not officially announced, they are what I found out.
So It may be wrong.
N34.68863 E135.84405


(July 6, 2018)

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