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東大寺

東大寺のあゆみ

鴟尾放光(しびほうこう)

奈良市内から東の方を眺めると、三笠山麓の深い緑の中に、燦然と鴟尾(しび)を輝かせている大仏殿を見る事ができる。この大仏殿を金堂とする伽藍が、華厳宗大本山、「東大寺」である。

東大寺大仏殿

東大寺の前身寺院

聖武天皇(画・小泉画伯) 東大寺

良弁僧正 東大寺

東大寺のはじまりは、神亀5年(728)、聖武(しょうむ)天皇の皇太子、基(もとい)親王の菩提を追修するために建てられた金鍾山寺(きんしょうさんじ)にまで遡ることができる。その後、天平13年(741)に国分二寺(金光明寺・法華寺)建立の詔が発せられたのに伴い、この金鍾山寺が昇格してなった大和国金光明寺(きんこうみょうじ)を前身とする。この金鐘山寺において、天平12年(740)から3年間、後に東大寺初代別当となる良弁が主宰して、我国で初めて、『華厳経(大方広仏華厳経)』の講説が実施された。

この講義は、新羅で華厳(けごん)経の教えを学んだ大安寺の審祥を講師に招き、『六十華厳』といって、ブッダバドラ(仏駄跋陀羅:359-429)という人が中国語に訳した60巻本の『華厳経』をテキストとして進められた。また註釈書には、中国華厳宗の第三祖で華厳教学の大成者といわれる法蔵(賢首大師)が著した『探玄記』が用いられたという。

鏡忍・慈訓・圓澄を複師とし、南都の碩学16人を聴衆として、1年に20巻ずつ講義は進められ、3年後の天平14年(742)にようやく初回の講説を終講する事ができた。

もちろん教理の研究と並行して仏像の相好や鋳造方法なども研究されたことは言うまでもない。

聖武天皇による盧舎那大仏(大仏さま)造顕は、河内国知識寺において天皇が盧舎那仏を拝した事がきっかけであったといわれており、『華厳経』の教理が明らかにされて初めて盧舎那大仏造顕という大事業の発願が可能だったのであろう。

ここで忘れてはならないのは、聖武天皇が国民の立場にたった政治を実施したことであり、医療・福祉に関しても目を見はるものがある。

聖武天皇の願い

天平時代は、華やかな時代であると同時に、政変、かんばつ・飢饉、凶作、大地震、天然痘の大流行などが相次ぎ、惨憺(さんたん)たる時代でもあった。

そのため、聖武天皇は人々が思いやりの心でつながり、こども達の命が次世代に輝くことを真剣に考えられたのである。

つまり、聖武天皇が大仏造立に込めた願いを正しく把握する必要がある。

※現在、継続して東大寺友の会主催による講演会「聖武天皇の実像を追って」が行われている。(講師/東大寺長老森本公誠師)

参考資料
西山厚「聖武天皇・大仏造立に込めた願い」 2004/03 東大寺
堀池春峰「東大寺へのいざない」 2004/04 東大寺史研究所編
橋本聖圓「東大寺と華厳の世界」 2003/02 春秋社
森本公誠「世界に開け 華厳の花」 2006/04 春秋社

奈良時代の医療行政

聖武天皇は、即位早々様々な政策を打ち出されるが、医療行政についても新たな方針を打ち出されている。

神亀3年(726)には「慢性病・重病の患者に対して、全国それぞれに医師を派遣し、薬を与えて治療にあたるように、また病の軽重により、米穀等食料を下賜するように」と詔され、天平2年(730)には医術ほか学問や技能の後継者の養成を勧められた。

 光明皇后も又、その1か月後、皇后宮職内に施薬院を設置している(詳細は、森本公誠著「世界に開け華厳の華」春秋社参照)ことであり、医療・福祉に関しても目を見はるものがある。

盧舎那大仏造立(るしゃなぶつだいぶつそうりつ)の詔(みことのり)と大仏開眼(だいぶつかいげん)

 天平15年(743)10月15日、このような背景のもと、聖武天皇は「盧舎那仏造顕の詔」を発せられる。これにより、先ず紫香楽(現在の滋賀県甲賀郡信楽町)において盧舎那大仏の造像事業が開始されることとなった。

「盧舎那大仏造立の詔」の中で、「乾坤相泰(けんこんあいやす)らかに万代の福業を修め、動植咸(ことごと)く栄えん」ことを願い、国民に「一枝(ひとえだ)の草、一把(ひとにぎり)の土」の結縁をよびかけ、知識として自主的に造営に関わることを呼びかける聖武天皇の姿勢は、それまでの国家事業の進め方とは大きく趣を異にするものであった。これを受けて詔の出された4日後には、僧行基が弟子たちを伴い勧進(寄進を募ること)をはじめたと伝えられる。

「東大寺大仏縁起絵巻」より 鋳造の場面 東大寺

このようにして「盧舎那大仏(大仏さま)」の造像がはじめられるが、紫香楽の山に火災が頻発したことや地震が続いたことなどにより、国都は紫香楽から再び平城京に遷され、これに伴い盧舎那仏造立の地も紫香楽から大和国金光明寺、即ち現在の東大寺の寺域に変更されることになった。

天平17年(745)には大仏さまの造像工事が始まり、天平19年(747)9月から天平勝宝元年(749)10月まで、3ヶ年8度の鋳継ぎを経て大仏さま本体の鋳造が完了、天平勝宝3年(751)には螺髪の鋳造並びに頭部への取り付けも終わり、天平19年(747)より平行して工事が進められていた大仏殿も全てが完成したわけではないが、天平勝宝4年(752)4月には盛大な開眼供養会(かいげんくようえ)が行われた。この年は、わが国に仏教が伝来して200年目に当る年であった。

大仏開眼供養会は、孝謙天皇、聖武太上天皇、光明皇太后の行幸のもと、インド僧菩提僊那(ぼだいせんな)が聖武上皇に代わって開眼の導師をつとめ、『華厳経』が盧舎那仏宝前に講読せられ、その様は、「仏法東帰してより斎会の儀、未だ嘗て此の如く盛なるはあらず(『続日本紀』)」と評せられるほどの法要であったという。

大仏殿を中心とする東大寺の七堂伽藍の造営は、この後、延暦8年(789)の造東大寺司の廃止まで続けられ、ようやく一応の完成をみることができた。

このように東大寺は、「発願聖武天皇」・「勧進行基菩薩」・「開山良弁僧正」・「開眼導師菩提僊那」、の四聖(ししょう)の協力により造立された寺であることから、特に中世以降は「四聖建立の寺」とも称せられるようになる。

大仏開眼供養の場面 東大寺

その他、大仏開眼供養会の行なわれた天平勝宝4年(752)には、現在も東大寺二月堂に「修二会」として伝わる「十一面悔過」が、実忠和尚(じっちゅうかしょう)によって創められたと伝えられる。この法会は以後一度も途絶える事無く続けられ、今日も「お水取り」「お松明」として親しまれ、奈良に春を呼ぶ法会として幅広い信仰をあつめている。

また唐僧鑑真(がんじん)は、栄叡(ようえい)・普照(ふしょう)を遣わした我国からの律僧招請に応じ、渡海を試みること6度、12年の歳月を経て、天平勝宝6年(754)、漸く来朝を果たし、この年、大仏殿宝前に設けられたわが国初の戒壇に於て、聖武上皇・孝謙天皇等に戒を授けた。以後、鑑真は授戒伝律の指導者として、大仏殿の戒壇を移築した東大寺戒壇院を授戒の根本道場とするとともに、伝律の道場として唐招提寺を設けて戒律の教導に尽された。

巨大仏が造られた地域

東大寺の盧舎那仏(大仏)は世界最大のブロンズ造であることから、大きさばかりが注目され、巨大な石造大仏が多く造られた中国に対抗するためだとか、東アジアの中で日本の勢力を誇示するためであるとか、誤った見解が見受けられるが、そのような単純な理由で巨大な仏像が造られたわけではない。

ではなぜ、盧舎那仏(大仏)の身長が五丈三尺に決められたのであろうか。

仏教の発祥地であるインド内では、巨大な仏像(10m以上)が造像された例は殆ど無く、シルクロードの東西交易の交通路に沿った中央アジアや東アジアなどで、経済的な繁栄を背景に多くの巨大仏(弥勒仏が多い)が造られた。

中国における大仏造立は5世紀頃から作例があるが、唐代になって盛んになり、敦煌から長安・洛陽へ至る道に沿って多くの弥勒大仏が造像された。特に『華厳經』六十巻本が仏陀跋陀羅によって漢訳されてからは盧舎那仏の造像も行なわれ、『華厳経』に説かれる蓮華蔵世界の宇宙観を表現した龍門石窟の奉先寺の盧舎那大仏(675年完成)などが著名である。

仏像身長の根拠

インドでは、「四」が完全を意味する数字であることから、その乗数の十六が特別視され、また中国では、人間の身長八尺(周尺/ふつうの約4分の3)に対して、釈尊はその倍量の一丈六尺(約4.8m)であるとされる。

一丈六尺(丈六)が大仏の最小の単位とされ、これを基準にその2倍、5倍、10倍などに造られることが多かった。

丈六(じょうろく)の大きさの仏像を「丈六仏」と言い、日本では、最古の本格的寺院である飛鳥寺の本尊(飛鳥大仏)が丈六で造られて以来、主要寺院の本尊の多くはこの大きさで造像された。

『華厳経』に説かれる盧舎那仏

東大寺が所依の経典とした『華厳經』には、盧舎那仏は宇宙(無限大)そのものであるように表現されているが、ではその無限大の寸法をどのように規定したのであろうか。

『華厳經』は「無尽の仏法を説く」ように宇宙的な無限大に広がる真理を説いているのであるが、特に「十」という数字を、無限大に拡大出来る数字として強調している。

つまり、丈六の大きさを十倍することによって、無限大の身長を表現しようとしたものと考えられる。丈六の十倍、十丈六尺になろうか。

東大寺の盧舎那大仏は坐像であるから、半分の五丈三尺の身長になるわけである。

参考資料
「東大寺のすべて」展目録/宮治 昭「巨大仏の系譜」より 2002年 朝日新聞社
「岩波 仏教辞典第二版」編集/中村 元他 2002年 岩波書店
「東大寺」東大寺教学部編 昭和48年 学生社

天平文化

音声菩薩 東大寺

さて、この時代、中国やシルクロード世界の影響を受けて興った絢爛たる仏教文化のことを日本文化史上特に「天平(てんぴょう)文化」と呼んでいる。仏教経典の研究や写経をはじめとして、建築、彫刻・絵画、美術工芸など、「百花匂うが如く」と喩えられるが、まさに天平文化は、東大寺の創建造営によって一気に昇華したといっても過言ではない。

東大寺では、法華堂ならびに法華堂の諸仏はいうまでもなく、蓮華蔵世界を刻んだ大仏さまの蓮華坐や大仏殿八角灯籠に舞う音声菩薩像などに、天平芸術の精華を今日なお間近にうかがうことができる。

また、天平文化を語るについては、悲田院・施薬院を設けるなど仏教の教えによる社会福祉にも意を尽くし、わが国の仏教文化受容に積極的な役割を果たされた光明皇后も、大変大きな役割をはたされたといわねばならない。

光明皇后は聖武天皇の崩御にともなって、天皇の生前遺愛の品々や大仏開眼供養会に関わる法具類等、天平文化を如実に物語る様々な品を東大寺盧舎那仏に献納された。これらは正倉院(現在は宮内庁所管)に納められ、兵火の難をものがれ今日まで伝えられてきた。

東の東大寺

ところで、この「東大寺」という名称はいつ頃から使われるようになったのか。

東大寺

「東大寺」という言葉が天平19年(747)の正倉院文書(天平19年12月15日「写経所解」、また同22日「近江国坂田郡司解」や東大寺出土木簡には「東大之寺」の名称あり)に初めて現れる事などから、大和国の国分寺に充てられた金鍾寺(金鍾山寺)が金光明寺と呼ばれるようになり、その金光明寺が大仏殿を中心とする大伽藍として再編成され、やがて国都平城京の東に建つ大寺(官寺)という意味で「東の大寺(ひむがしのおおてら)」と呼ばれるようになったと考えることができる。

このような経緯から、東大寺が、天下泰平・万民豊楽等を祈願する道場であったことはいうまでもないが、同時に南都諸大寺と同様、仏教の教理を研究し学僧を養成する機関でもあった。六宗兼学といって寺内に三論(さんろん)・成実(じょうじつ)・法相 (ほっそう)・倶舎(くしゃ)・華厳(けごん)・律(りつ)の六宗の宗所(教団)が併存し、他宗との兼学や他寺へ行って学ぶのも自由で、この点、今日の大学のような役目を兼ねていたと考えられている。

治承の兵火と鎌倉期復興造営

南都焼き討ちの場面 東大寺

古く天平時代に創建され大伽藍を誇った東大寺であったが、有為転変の言葉どおり、やはり盛衰興廃の歴史を辿らざるを得なかった。

平安時代には、斉衡2年(855)、地震のために大仏さまの頭部が墜ち、真如法親王によって修復事業が進められ、貞観3年(861)に開眼供養が行われた。その後、講堂や三面僧房、西塔などの焼失、暴風雨による南大門や大鐘楼の倒壊などによる営繕事業が行なわれたが、平安朝400余年の間については、それでもむしろ泰平であったといわなければならない。

やがて平安時代末、源平抗争さなか、平重衡の軍勢が南都を攻め、この兵火の為に治承4年(1180)12月28日、東大寺も大仏殿をはじめ伽藍の大半を焼失した。

重源上人 東大寺

焼失した大仏殿を中心とする東大寺伽藍の復興造営は、俊乗房重源によって翌年から着手されるところとなる。  重源上人は、13歳、醍醐寺で出家し、続いて高野山に入り、各地で真言僧として修行を重ね、中国にも三度渡り、天台山・阿育王山・五台山の三大霊場を参詣され、各地で見聞を広め、中国の先進技術を学ばれていた。  既に勧進聖(かんじんひじり)として活躍していた上人に、造東大寺大勧進の宣旨が下され、その職に就かれた61歳からは、想像を越える難事業をものともせず、86歳で入寂されるまでの驚きの行動にはすさまじいものがある。  勧進を進めるための組織づくり及びその方法、最新建築技術の導入、写実性と躍動感に富んだ鎌倉彫刻の創出、そして阿弥陀・舎利信仰を基盤とした重源独自の思想は、東大寺復興という大事業を結実させ、上人の晩年には、東大寺は天平の姿をほぼ取り戻していた。

大仏殿落慶供養に参列した源頼朝公(中央上) 東大寺

教学の面に目を向けてみると、奈良時代には六宗兼学といっていたものが、平安時代には「天台」と「真言」の二宗を加え、「八宗兼学」を標榜するようになった。ことに真言宗については、弘仁13年(822)真言院が創建され、貞観17年(875)聖宝(理源大師)により東南院が創建されると南都に一大勢力を誇るようになった。また、東大寺の本旨たる華厳宗については、平安時代はやや沈滞期であったものの、再興を期して、天暦9年(955)、別当光智により華厳宗の道場として尊勝院が建立された。

鎌倉時代になると、東大寺再興の進展と共に寺内の教学活動も活発になり、尊勝院弁暁(べんぎょう)・宗性(そうしょう)、真言院の聖守、戒壇院凝然(ぎょうねん)など、多くの学僧を輩出した。

弁暁は俊乗房重源による復興造営を助けるとともに、明恵上人高弁を華厳学頭に招じて華厳教学の隆昌を期し、宗性は文応元年(1260)東大寺別当にも補任されているが、尊勝院を拠点に華厳宗の興隆につとめ、文永3年(1266)には後嵯峨上皇の勅により華厳を講じ、多くの著作を残した。また凝然は、律を本旨としつつも尊勝院宗性に華厳を学び、後宇多上皇の授戒師となり示観国師の号を賜るとともに、『八宗綱要』をはじめとして数多くの著述を残している。

永禄の兵火と江戸期再建造営

しかしやがて、鎌倉時代をへて室町時代も末になると、群雄割拠、世は下克上の気運に満ち、大和国もまた戦乱の巷となった。永禄10年(1567)10月10日、三好松永の乱による兵火は大仏殿にも及び、二月堂・法華堂・南大門・転害門・正倉院・大鐘楼などは残ったものの、東大寺の大伽藍を再び灰燼に到らしめた。

大勧進公慶上人 東大寺

大仏尊像は雨ざらしとなり、しかも御頭を欠き、各所には損傷の痕が見られる痛ましい姿となった。大仏復興の動きはただちに始まったものの、仏頭は木芯を銅板で覆ったものであり、お堂は雨露をしのぐだけの小さな仮堂に過ぎなかった。しかもその仮堂も、慶長15年(1610)の大風で倒壊し、大仏の痛ましさはさらに増した。

時は戦国時代、世相混沌として、伽藍の復興は困難を極め、仏頭を銅板で補っただけの大仏さまは「露座の大仏」と称されるありさまであった。

重源上人 東大寺

それから半世紀後、13歳で東大寺大喜院に入った公慶は、雨のそぼ降る日に大仏を拝し、自分には傘があるが、大仏は風雨にさらされたままだと涙し、ひそかに大仏殿再興の志願をおこした。年々二月堂修二会に参籠するかたわら、学問の研鑽に努めていた公慶は、37歳となった貞享元年(1684)、江戸幕府に赴き、大仏殿の再興と諸国勧進を訴え、翌月寺社奉行より許可を得た。ただ許可の内容は、勧進は勝手次第だが、幕府が援助するものではないというものであった。

しかし、大和出身の護持院隆光の協力を得られたことが奏効して、五代将軍綱吉公と桂昌院、また柳沢吉保(よしやす)らの援助も得られ、大仏さまの開眼供養を元禄5年(1692)に、さらに建築規模は約三分の二に縮小されたものの、再建大仏殿の落慶供養を宝永6年(1709)に行う事ができた。以後伽藍の整備再建は明治維新に到るまで歴代の大勧進職によって続けられ、ほぼ現在のような寺観を呈するようになった。

現状

明治維新の廃仏毀釈の嵐は、京都、奈良の諸大寺にも深刻な打撃を与え、廃藩置県による寺社領没収は東大寺の存立そのものに大きな危機をもたらした。

しかし東大寺では寺門改革などを経て、明治・昭和の二度に渡る大仏殿大修理をはじめ、南大門・転害門の解体修理、平成の南大門仁王尊像の解体修理、総合防災事業の実施など伽藍の維持と文化財の保護に努め、平成10年には「古都奈良の文化財」として世界文化遺産にも登録された。

奈良時代に、多くの人々の助力を得て創建された東大寺は、鎌倉、江戸の復興期はもちろんのこと、大きな修理が行われる時には、その時代の多くの人々の助力を得て、現在に至っていることを忘れてはならない。

Looking to the east of the city of Nara, in dark green at the foot of Mikasa, 鴟尾 brilliantly (and with) that can be seen shining hall. The main hall and the hall of this temple, Motoyama Hiroshi 華厳宗 'Toudaizi' is.

Todaiji beginning of five years tortoise God (728), Kiyoshi Takeshi (Yes cane), Crown of the Emperor group (also Toi) Fri 鍾山 temple was built to add a bodhi 修Suru Prince (Yousanji to Friday) to can be traced back. After 13 years Tempyo (741) to the temple two Kokubun (法華寺 金光明寺) due to the issuance of the decree of erection, was promoted to Yamato Province 金光明寺 鍾山 Kono Kon Temple (Myouji this Friday) to and its predecessor. In Admiralty temple, the 12-year Tempyo (740) 3 years, presiding over the first 良弁 Toudaizi Bettou and after the first time in our country, [華厳経 (華厳経 Hutsu large majority) of 講説] was carried out.

This lecture Kegon in Silla (only Gon) was invited as lecturers in instance 大安寺 Sang learned through teaching, [saying] Kegon Soro, Buddabadora (陀羅 跋 waste Hutsu :359 -429) people who volume of the book translated into Chinese [60] was carried out as text 華厳経. The annotation is written, The Taisei Houzou called the father of three in the first teaching 華厳宗 Kegon China (Ken neck Daishi), authored by Gen [recorded] a probe was used.

Madoka Kiyoshi teacher and a mother's advice Kiyou Shinobu complex, as scholars of the southern capital audience to 16 people, wound 20 in each year lecture underway, three years after 14 years Tenpyo (742) lectures finally end the first 講説It could be.

It was also studied 相好 and casting of the statue and how to say in parallel with the study of divinity course.

Roh Na Buddha by building Shomu (our Buddha) is a microscopic structure, has led to things that were said to worship in the temple by the Emperor 那仏 Roh building country knowledge Kawachi, 華厳経 until it is clear that the doctrine would be a massive undertaking was possible that the microscopic structure of the statue 発願 Na Roh building.

We have to remember is that politics conducted Shomu viewpoint of the people, there is also an eye for Healthcare Haru.

Tempyo period, while the glamorous era, political upheaval, famine drought, crop failures, earthquakes, and after another outbreak of smallpox, we went to (tan's) age was also a barrel.

Therefore, in Shomu compassion leads people to be seriously considered for the next generation to shine in our kids lives.

In other words, it is necessary to correctly grasp the hope I put in the 造立 Shomu Buddha.

Currently ※, continue to the Friends of Toudaizi lecture sponsored by the 'pursuit of Shomu Reality' has been made. (Lecturer / senior nurse Toudaizi誠Morimoto Hiroshi)

Resources
Nishiyama Atsushi 'wish that I put in 造立 Shomu Buddha' Toudaizi 2004/03
Horiike spring peak, 'Invitation to Toudaizi' Toudaizi Institute for the History Guide 2004/04
Satoshi Madoka Hashimoto 'and Kegon Toudaizi World' Shunjusha 2003/02
Hiroshi Makoto Morimoto 'Kegon flower opening to the world' Shunjusha 2006/04

Shomu, the policies put forward by a variety of early accession to the throne, has also put forward a new government health care policy.

3 years tortoise God (726) is 'critically ill patients with chronic diseases, each nation sent a doctor to give medicine to the treatment that falls, and the gravity of the disease, such as food, rice granted 'the decree, and two years Tempyo (730) has suggested an academic and skill training, the successor of another medicine.

光明皇后or even a month after the hospital has been established within the office施薬Empress Palace (for details, by Hiroshi Makoto Morimoto 'China opened the world Kegon' Shunjusha see) that is, medical and welfare There is also an eye on what Haru.

Tempyo 15 years (743) October 15, under these circumstances, Shomu is 'a sensible construction decree building那仏Roh' to be issued. This music first Yukari Kaori (Kouga-gun, Shiga Shigaraki now) was that the project will begin construction of a Buddha statue in Na Roh building.

'Sha Na decree of Buddha 造立 Roh' in 'heaven and earth phase Tai (Ken Kon Yasu Ai) or course work in their fortune in Mandai, plants and Ham (per can), please 栄En' wish you, the people 'Kazue (for example that person) of grass, a bunch (handful) of soil,' the 結縁 Yobikake, the attitude of the call to be involved in erecting Shomu independently as knowledge and how to proceed until it is a national project the atmosphere was different significantly. The decree was issued four days after receiving it, accompanied by his disciples Gyoki Susumu Susumu monk (solicit donations) reportedly started.

To as the 'Buddha Na sha Roh (our Buddha)' is to be such a statue-forming, mainly due to continued and earthquakes that frequent fires in the mountains of music Yukari Kaoru, Metropolitan State to Heijokyo again easy Yukari Kaoru The 遷Sa, Yukari Kaoru 金光明寺 country music also from the land of Yamato 造立 building 那仏 Roh As a result, had to be changed to the current range of Todaiji Temple, ie.

2005 Tempyo (745) has started construction images construction of our Buddha, 2007 Tempyo (747) first year of treasure wins Tempyo September (749) until October, the body of our Buddha through the joint cast at 8 3-year Casting is complete, three years Tempyo treasure wins (751) is also attached to the head end of the casting and spiral hair, 19 years Tempyo (747), the hall was not even completed all the construction is proceeding in parallel with more There is not four years Tempyo treasure wins (752) in a memorial meeting in April on a big eye-opening (for example Kaigen So that) were made. This year was the year for 200 years hits the introduction of Buddhism to Japan.

Memorial statue is eye-opening meeting, the Emperor Taka Ken, 太上天皇 Satoshi Takeshi, under the Empress Dowager Miyuki light, Bodai 僊那 Indian monk (and Daisen com), to serve the emperor in place of enlightened guru Satoshi Takeshi, and [ The Sera subscribe 宝前 華厳経] Roh 那仏 building, like that, 'Sai Yi meeting with attribution east from Buddhism, which shall not yet 嘗Te 此 like a Mori ([continued] Nihongi Sun)' and is 評Se memorial service that was enough.

The complete temple compound was built around the temple hall and, after this, Enryaku 1996 (789) continued until the abolition of the Department of Toudaizi structure could be seen once finally completed.

Thus Toudaizi 'Shomu発願', 'Susumu Susumu Gyoki Bodhisattva,' 'Monseigneur良弁Temple', 'Bodai僊那enlightened guru' of the Four Holy (Shishou) that the cooperation of the temple was造立, especially since the Middle Ages , 'Four Holy Temple was built,' will also be able称Se.

Other wins in four years Tempyo treasure enlightened Buddha memorial meeting was held (752) has still to Nigatsu Toudaizi 'Meeting Shuji' travel as '悔過eleven faces', but Makoto Tadashi Takashi Kazu (same Tchuu Kashou ) is said to have been wound by Me. This法会continued without cease once after it, even today, 'taking water', 'our torch' is popular as are a wide range of faith法会Collect Call Nara spring.

Tou priest and Makoto Akira (dust cancer) is Akira Sakae (Ei You), Hiroshi Akira (Fushou) from the law of our country according to the invitation sent to the priest, trying to crossings at six, after 12 years to, balance scales 1994 treasure wins (754), finally arriving in Japan played this year, with Japan's first at the 戒壇 宝前 hall arranged, gave the commandments to the Emperor and the Emperor Kiyoshi Takashi Takashi Ken. Thereafter, as the leader of Makoto Akira 授戒 Tsutae Tadashi, as well as the fundamental 授戒 Dojo and was moved to hospital Toudaizi 戒壇 戒壇 the hall, exhausted Toshodaiji Temple provided the instructor of a dojo precepts Tsutae Tadashi.

Roh 那仏 building the temple (Buddha) is the world's largest bronze structure that has attracted attention recently is the size, or that China was built to counter a lot of giant stone Buddha, Japan in East Asia there is some force in order to show off, but erroneous view is seen, not a giant statue was built for the simple reason that there is no such.

So why Roh 那仏 building (Buddha), or three feet in length will be determined five of the height.

In India, the birthplace of Buddhism, a giant Buddha statue (10m or more) is forming an image on 殆Do無Ku examples, such as Central and East along the east-west traffic route of the Silk Road trade, economic prosperity Hutsu behind a number of large (often Maitreya Buddha) was built.

There is a statue 造立 作例 in China since the 5th century, became popular to the Tang Dynasty, the Maitreya Buddha statue is a lot of construction along the road leading to the Dunhuang Rakuyou Yasushi Takeshi. In particular [Scripture Kegon] from being translated Chinese by 陀羅 跋 Buddha book volume Soro was also made image-forming 那仏 building Roh [華厳経] where Bong Longmen Grottoes representing the cosmology of the world built lotus be reminded to Roh Na Buddha Temple building (completed in 675) and the famous.

In India, 'four' means that the full number, is seen as a multiplier of sixty special reason, China is also eight feet tall man (measure circumference / around three quarters of the average) for to, a length of six volumes of Buddha feet (approximately 4.8m) is to be.

A length of six feet (Jōroku) is the smallest unit of the Buddha, and the double standards it five times, and were often built in the 10-fold.

Jōroku (Please watering) the size of the statue of 'Buddha length six,' he said, in Japan, the Asuka - dera Temple Buddha Temple is the oldest full-fledged (Asuka Daibutsu) since Jōroku built in, the main temple Many Buddha statues were in the construction of this magnitude.

Where the Scriptures were dependent Toudaizi Kegon [Scripture] is building 那仏 Roh universe (infinite), which itself is expressed to be, or how could the size stipulated that in the infinite.

Kegon [Scripture] is 'to preach Buddhism in 無尽' is preaching the truth is that an expanding universe as infinite, especially the 'ten,' the figure of that number could increase as emphasized infinity.

In other words, by ten times the size of the Jōroku be considered to have stature to express the infinite. Jōroku ten times, six feet in length or become ten.

Na Buddha is seated from the temple building Roh is not a height of five feet three half-length.

Resources
'All the temple,' exhibition catalog / Miyazi Akira 'Genealogy Giant Buddha,' from 2002 Asahishinbunsya
'Iwanami Buddhism Dictionary Second Edition' Edit / other Iwanamisyoten Motonakamura 2002
'Toudaizi' Student's Academic Affairs Division in 1973 edit Toudaizi

Well, this time, especially the history of Japanese culture splendid Buddhist culture that flourished under the influence of China and the Silk Road world 'Tempyo (Pyou heaven)' Culture is called. Including the research and Buddhist Sutras, architecture, painting, sculpture, arts and crafts, 'Ga如Ku many flowers smell' is the metaphor, the culture just Tempyo is no exaggeration to say that was built by sublimation at once founded in the Todaiji not.

The Todaiji, Buddhas of Hokke and Hokke is needless to say, and Bodhisattva voice dances in cages 角灯 eight hall and sitting lotus of our Buddha carved the world built lotus can watch for up close even today the essence of art Tenpyo available.

Also, talk about culture Tenpyo are also doing their social meaning of Buddhist teachings, such as providing hospital Hidenin 施薬 also fulfilled a positive role 光明皇后 acceptance of Japan's Buddhist culture, a very important role Hatasa to shut up and have been.

Shomu 光明皇后 is accompanied by the death of, kind and enlightened Buddha Buddhist ritual implements related to the meeting and many items of living relic of the Emperor, was donated to the building 那仏 Roh Toudaizi give evidence of a variety of products Tenpyo culture. These Shosoin (now the Imperial Household Agency jurisdiction) is paid, has also been reported to date hardly escape the fire caused by war.

By the way, this 'Toudaizi' What does the name came to be used any time since.

'Toudaizi' word Tempyo 2007 (747) of the document Shosoin (December 15, 2007 Tempyo 'solution where Sutras', 22, also said, 'Sakata Gunzi Kou Kunitika solution' to the tablet was unearthed and Todaiji 'Toudai Department Temple 'in the name) and it appears from the first time, was allocated to Kokubunji Fri 鍾寺 Yamato Province (Temple 鍾山 Friday) is now called 金光明寺, especially large temple hall of the 金光明寺was reorganized as the Metropolitan Heijokyo Ootera located east of the country soon (temple officer) in the sense of 'Eastern Ootera (Mugashinoootera fire)' can now be considered to be called.

From these circumstances, the Toudaizi, it was 豊楽 dojo and all would praying is not Taira Hiroshi world to say, as well as various Ootera Nanto the same time, organizations can train a learned priest had studied the doctrines of Buddhism or. Terauchi, saying the theory of three six 兼学 King ('s theory), Shigeru Makoto (Joujitsu) Justice (so alone) 倶舎 (Ya comb) Kegon (Gon only), law (Ritsu) King of King's six Office (the cult) to coexist, and are free to go to temples and other learning 宗To 兼学 of others, this point has been considered also the role of universities such as today.

Toudaizi was proud of the temple was built in ancient times Tenpyo, according to the word of the shifts and changes, history of the rise and fall 辿Razaru forced to rise and fall as well.

Heian period, two-year balanced Qi (855) Buddha for our fall, the head of the earthquake, the restoration project is underway 法親王 absolute reality, three years Jogan (861) eyes open to the memorial service was held. Then vihara auditoriums and three sides, and the west tower was destroyed, the project was carried out by the Buildings Department and the bell tower collapsed due to major storms and Namdaemun, for over 400 years of the Heian period, still have to say about was the rather Tadashi Hiroshi.

Eventually the end of the Heian period, amid strife Tadashi Hazime, the army attacked the southern capital 平重衡 four years approved for the treatment of this fire caused by war (1180) 28 12, most of the cathedral was destroyed, including the Great Buddha Toudaizi well.

Reconstruction of the temple was built around the hall was destroyed Toudaizi and is about to be launched from next year as the Department Shigeru Hazime square chamber. Shigeru Hazime Priest, aged 13, in the Daigo-ji priest entered the Kouyasan followed the mantra repeated throughout the training as a monk, went to China three times, three of the sacred places of Tiantai Ali Iku Sannou Wutaishan the pilgrimage, traveled throughout the spread, it was learned the advanced technology in China. Already Susumu Susumu St. (Hijiri stack up) was working as a saint, a great down the Toudaizi Susumu Susumu 宣旨 of structure, the employer from his job 61 years, the business and without difficulty than expected, 86 actions until the death of a priest at the age of surprises is something terrible. Making and how to promote Susumu Susumu organization, the introduction of new building technologies, creating a rich sense of Kamakura sculpture realism and dynamism, its own ideas of faith-based Shigeru Hazime relics and Amida, a revival of Toudaizi let the fruit business, the saint in his later years, the Todaiji Tenpyo figure had regained almost.

When I look to the teaching side, Nara period and what was going 兼学 six sect, Heian period, 'Tendai' and 'mantra' in addition to two of King, '八宗兼学' to advocate was. And especially for Shingonsyuu, Hiroshi Masashi 2001 (822) and founded the Shingon sect Institute, Jogan 2005 (875) St. Treasure (Daishi Satoshi Hazime) now boasts a major force in the southern capital and founded the Institute Minami Azuma or. In addition, the temple 本旨Taru 華厳宗 the Heian period, but were somewhat depressed, and the sake of revival, the top calendar 1997 (955), were built by the Institute 華厳宗 Takashi Katsu Dojo Akira Tomo as Bettou.

When the Kamakura period, and also actively work teaching the precincts with the development of a revival Toudaizi, Dawn valve Institute Takashi Katsu (Dolls all) of King (speak it), Kiyoshi Mori Academy of Shingon, 凝然 Institute 戒壇 (year Gyou ), etc., which produced many learned priest.

Dawn was built to help with the reconstruction of the valve chamber square Shigeru Hazime T., Akira Takashi for the sake of teaching 学頭 Kegon Kegon valve to the high saint 招Ji Kei Aki, 応元 year sentence of King (1260) is also 補任 Toudaizi Bettou is that strives to rise in hospital based 華厳宗 Takashi Tsuyoshi, Aya Hisashi three years (1266) is the royal of the Emperor Saga Kegon taken after a lot of work left. 凝然 also learn Kegon in of King Institute Takashi Katsu while with the principle the law, and grant a number of Guksabong 示観 and mentor 授戒 of the Emperor Uta after [Institutes religion eight] to leave the writings of many including the The.

Eventually, however, will be the end of the Kamakura period, Muromachi period up to a number of powerful, full of momentum in the world junior dominating senior, was also a war-torn streets of Yamato Province. Eiroku 10 years (1567) October 10, due to fire caused by war and also the turbulence of the Miyoshi Matsunaga hall, bell tower and transfer of harmful Shosoin Namdaemun gate in February, but remained Hokkedo Hall,到Ra which made the great temple of Todaiji Ashes again.

The Buddha statues and rain, yet lacking the control head, was wearing throughout the painful scars of the damage seen. Reconstruction began immediately, but the movement of Buddha, Buddha is a copper core covered with those trees, a small temple was just a temporary hall just 雨露 surpass. And even the temporary hall, 15 years Keicho (1610) collapsed in a gale, the statue has been 痛Mashi increased further.

During the Warring States period, a chaotic social conditions, reconstruction of the temple is extremely difficult, as supplemented by our copper statue of the Buddha is 'The Great Buddha of 露座' There had to be called.

Then half a century later, entered the public hospital Kyung Daiki Toudaizi 13 years old, to worship Buddha Sobo降Ru rainy day, but to me the umbrella, the crying statue is left exposed to wind and rain, the hall quietly caused the revival of applicants. Participate in a basket beside hall meeting in February each year Shuji, Kei had publicly committed to academic study, the first year was 37 years old Akira Tadashi (1684), went to the Edo Shogunate, and the revival of the complaining countries Susumu Susumu hall, next month With permission from the magistrate temples. The contents of the permit, however, but 勝手次第 Susumu Susumu purpose, no assistance was that the Tokugawa Shogunate.

However, the response was obtained with the help of Akira Takashi defend from Daiwa Institute, General Hospital Tsunayoshi Hiroshi Katsura Akira and Godai, Yasushi Yoshi and Sawa Yanagi (Yasu Yoshi) was also obtained from the aid, Genroku a memorial statue of our open eyes 5 years (1692), and even architectural scale, but was reduced to two thirds, a memorial service for six years Hoei 落慶 reconstruction of the hall (1709) could have done. Continued development of rebuilding the temple after the successive positions to reach a large Susumu Susumu Meiji Restoration began to take on the current view of almost like a temple.

Storm of the Meiji Restoration 廃仏毀釈 Kyoto, also a serious blow to various Ootera Nara, territory seized by the domain system was abolished temple itself very existence of crisis led to the temple.

The Toudaizi Terakado and reform, but after the Meiji ・ including major repairs to the hall twice over the Showa repair damage rotation Namdaemun gate demolition and repair of the demolition of statues Heisei Ou Hitoshi Namdaemun, the cathedral and implementation of Disaster Management Project committed to protecting and maintaining cultural heritage, in 1998 the 'Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara' was registered as a World Cultural Heritage.

Nara period, Toudaizi was founded with the help of many people, the Kamakura period, the reconstruction of Edo is, of course, when made repairs large, with the help of many people of that era, now Do not forget to not have reached.


Tōdai-ji 東大寺, Tōdai-ji, Eastern Great Temple

Tōdai-ji 東大寺, Tōdai-ji, Eastern Great Temple, is a Buddhist temple complex located in the city of Nara, Japan. Its Great Buddha Hall (大仏殿 Daibutsuden), the largest wooden building in the world, houses the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana, known in Japanese simply as Daibutsu (大仏). The temple also serves as the Japanese headquarters of the Kegon school of Buddhism. The temple is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site as 'Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara', together with seven other sites including temples, shrines and places in the city of Nara. Sika deer, regarded as messengers of the gods in the Shinto religion, roam the grounds freely.

History

Roots

The beginning of building a temple where the huge Tōdai-ji complex sits today can be dated to 728, when Emperor Shōmu established Kinshōsen-ji (金鐘山寺) as an appeasement for Prince Motoi, his first son with his Fujiwara clan consort Kōmyōshi. Prince Motoi died a year after his birth.

During the Tenpyō era, Japan suffered from a series of disasters and epidemics. It was after experiencing these problems that Emperor Shōmu issued an edict in 741 to promote the construction of provincial temples throughout the nation. Tōdai-ji (still Kinshōsen-ji at the time) was appointed as the Provincial temple of Yamato Province and the head of all the provincial temples. With the alleged coup d'état by Nagaya in 729, an outbreak of smallpox around 735–737, worsened by consecutive years of poor crops, then followed by a rebellion led by Fujiwara no Hirotsugu in 740, the country was in a chaotic position. Emperor Shōmu had been forced to move the capital four times, indicating the level of instability during this period.

Role in early Japanese Buddhism

Under the Ritsuryō system of government in the Nara Period, Buddhism was heavily regulated by the state through the Sōgō (僧綱, Office of Priestly Affairs). During this time, Tōdai-ji served as the central administrative temple for the provincial temples for the six Buddhist schools in Japan at the time: the Hossō, Kegon, Jōjitsu, Sanron, Ritsu and Kusha. Letters dating from this time also show that all six Buddhist schools had offices at Tōdai-ji, complete with administrators, shrines and their own library.

Japanese Buddhism during this time still maintained the lineage of the Vinaya and all officially licensed monks had to take their ordination under the Vinaya at Tōdai-ji. In 754, ordination was given by Ganjin, who arrived in Japan after overcoming hardships over 12 years and six attempts of crossing the sea from China, to Empress Kōken, former Emperor Shōmu and others. Later Buddhist monks, including Kūkai and Saichō took their ordination here as well.[5] During Kūkai's administration of the Sōgō, additional ordination ceremonies were added to Tōdai-ji, including ordination of the Bodhisattva Precepts from the Brahma Net Sutra and the esoteric Precepts, or Samaya, from Kukai's own newly established Shingon school of Buddhism. Additionally, Kūkai added an Abhiseka Hall for the use of initiating monks of the six Nara schools into the esoteric teachings. by 829.

During its height of power, Tōdai-ji's famous Shuni-e ceremony was established by the monk Jitchū, and continues to this day.

Decline

As the center of power in Japanese Buddhism shifted away from Nara to Mount Hiei and the Tendai sect, and later when the capital of Japan moved to Kamakura, Tōdai-ji's role in maintaining authority declined as well. In later generations, the Vinaya lineage also died out, despite repeated attempts to revive it, thus no more ordination ceremonies take place at Tōdai-ji.

Various buildings of the Tōdai-ji have been incorporated within the overall aesthetic intention of the gardens' design. Adjacent villas are today considered part of Tōdai-ji.

Initial construction

In 743, Emperor Shōmu issued a law in which he stated that the people should become directly involved with the establishment of new Buddha temples throughout Japan. His personal belief was that such piety would inspire Buddha to protect his country from further disaster. Gyōki, with his pupils, traveled the provinces asking for donations. According to records kept by Tōdai-ji, more than 2,600,000 people in total helped construct the Great Buddha and its Hall. The 16 m (52 ft) high statue was built through eight castings over three years, the head and neck being cast together as a separate element. The making of the statue was started first in Shigaraki. After enduring multiple fires and earthquakes, the construction was eventually resumed in Nara in 745, and the Buddha was finally completed in 751. A year later, in 752, the eye-opening ceremony was held with an attendance of 10,000 people to celebrate the completion of the Buddha. The Indian priest Bodhisena performed the eye-opening for Emperor Shōmu. The project nearly bankrupted Japan's economy, consuming most of the available bronze of the time.

The original complex also contained two 100 m pagodas, perhaps second only to the pyramids of Egypt in height at the time. These were destroyed by earthquake. The Shōsōin was its storehouse, and now contains many artifacts from the Tenpyo period of Japanese history.

Reconstructions post-Nara Period

The Great Buddha Hall (Daibutsuden) has been rebuilt twice after fire. The current building was finished in 1709, and although immense—57 m long and 50 m wide—it is actually 30% smaller than its predecessor. The Great Buddha statue has been recast several times for various reasons, including earthquake damage. The current hands of the statue were made in the Momoyama Period (1568–1615), and the head was made in the Edo period (1615–1867).

The existing Nandaimon (Great South Gate) is a reconstruction of end-12th century based on Song Dynasty style. The dancing figures of the Nio, the two 28-foot-tall guardians at the Nandaimon, were built at around the same time by Unkei, Kaikei and their workshop members. The Nio are known as Ungyo, which by tradition has a closed mouth, and Agyo, which has an open mouth. The two figures were closely evaluated and extensively restored by a team of art conservators between 1988 and 1993. Until then, these sculptures had never before been moved from the niches in which they were originally installed. This complex preservation project, costing $4.7 million, involved a restoration team of 15 experts from the National Treasure Repairing Institute in Kyoto.

What to See

The main entrance to the temple is through the 13th-century Nandaimon (Great Southern Gate). It features two impressive guardian statues of the Nio (Benevolent Kings), carved in 1203 and each more than 8 meters tall.

Todajji's main temple building, the Daibutsuden (Great Buddha Hall), is said to be the largest wooden building in the world. This is especially impressive in light of the fact that the present reconstruction (from 1692) is only two thirds of the original temple's size.

The original complex also contained two 100-meter-high pagodas, probably the tallest buildings in the world at the time, but these were destroyed by earthquake.

Todaiji is famous for housing Japan's largest Buddha statue. It depicts the Buddha Vairocana and, like the one at Kamakura, is commonly known as the Daibutsu (Great Buddha). The Daibutsu is made of copper and bronze, weighs 250 tons and stands 30 meters tall. His intricate hairstyle is made of 966 bronze balls.

Also of interest in the Daibutsuden are the rear support pillars, which have holes through the bottom. Popular belief has it that if one is successful in squeezing through one of these 'healing pillars,' he or she is guaranteed a place in Heaven.

Outside the Daibutsuden at the bottom of the steps, don't miss the bronze Octagonal Lantern, one of the oldest treasures in Todaiji — it dates from the original 8th-century temple. The lantern's support post is inscribed with a Buddhist text on the merits of lighting lanterns.

Dimensions of the Daibutsu

The temple gives the following dimensions for the statue:

* Height: 14.98 m (49.1 ft); * Face: 5.33 m (17.5 ft); * Eyes: 1.02 m (3.3 ft); * Nose: 0.5 m (1.6 ft); * Ears: 2.54 m (8.3 ft)

The statue weighs 500 tonnes (550 short tons).

Some of these structures are now open to the public. The time spent visiting one or more of these less well-known buildings can only enhance an appreciation of the temple complex itself.

Over the centuries, the buildings and gardens have evolved together as to become an integral part of a unique, organic and living temple community.

Japanese national treasures at Todai-ji

The architectural master-works are classified as:

Romaji
Kanji
Kon-dō (Daibutsuden)
金堂 (大仏殿)
Nandaimon
南大門
Kaizan-dō
開山堂
Shōrō
鐘楼
Hokke-dō (Sangatsu-dō)
法華堂 (三月堂)
Nigatsu-dō
二月堂
Tegaimon
転害門

Major historical events

* 728: Kinshōsen-ji, the forerunner of Tōdai-ji is established as a gesture of appeasement for the troubled spirit of Prince Motoi.
* 741: Emperor Shōmu calls for nationwide establishment of provincial temples; and Kinshōsen-ji appointed as the head provincial temple of Yamato.
* 743: The Emperor commands that a very large image Buddhist statue shall be built—the Daibutsu or Great Buddha—and initial work is begun at Shigaraki-no-miya.
* 745: The capital returns to Heijō-kyō, construction of the Great Buddha resumes in Nara. Usage of the name Tōdai-ji appears on record.
* 752: The Eye-opening Ceremony celebrating the completion of the Great Buddha held.
* 855: The head of the great statue of Buddha suddenly fell to the ground; and gifts from the pious from throughout the empire were collected to create another, more well-seated head for the restored Daibutsu.

Cultural references

Tōdai-ji has been used as a location in several Japanese films and television dramas. It was also used in the 1950s John Wayne movie The Barbarian and the Geisha when Nandaimon, the Great South Gate, doubled as a city's gates.

UNESCO-sponsored music festival

On May 20, 1994, the international music festival The Great Music Experience was held at Tōdai-ji, supported by UNESCO.
The Tokyo New Philharmonic Orchestra, X Japan, INXS, Bon Jovi, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Tomoyasu Hotei, Roger Taylor, classic Japanese drummers, and a Buddhist monk choir. This event, organised by British producer Tony Hollingsworth, was simultaneously broadcast in 55 countries on May 22 and May 23, 1994.

Web References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T%C5%8Ddai-ji
http://www.sacred-destinations.com/japan/nara-todaiji


Nara 奈良市

Country: Japan
Region: Kansai
Prefecture: Nara Prefecture
Area: Total: 276.84 km2 (106.9 sq mi)
Time zone: Japan Standard Time (UTC+9)
City symbols
Tree: Quercus gilva
Flower: Nara yaezakura
Bird: Japanese Bush Warbler
Coordinates: 34°41′N 135°48′E / 34.683°N 135.8°E / 34.683; 135.8

Nara (奈良市, Nara-shi) is the capital city of Nara Prefecture in the Kansai region of Japan. The city occupies the northern part of Nara Prefecture, directly bordering Kyoto Prefecture. Eight temples, shrines and ruins in Nara, specifically Tōdai-ji, Saidai-ji, Kōfuku-ji, Kasuga Shrine, Gangō-ji, Yakushi-ji, Tōshōdai-ji and the Heijō Palace remains, together with Kasugayama Primeval Forest, collectively form 'Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara' a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Landmarks

  1. * Buddhist temples: Tōdai-ji, including Nigatsu-dō, Saidai-ji, Kōfuku-ji, Gangō-ji, Yakushi-ji, Tōshōdai-ji
  2. * Shinto shrines: Kasuga Shrine
  3. * Former imperial palace: Heijō Palace
  4. * Others: Kasugayama Primeval Forest, Naramachi, Nara National Museum, Nara Park, Nara Hotel, Isuien Garden, Sarusawa Pond, Wakakusa-yama, Yagyū

According to the legendary history of Kasuga Shrine, a mythological god Takemikazuchi arrived in Nara on a white deer to guard the newly built capital of Heijō-kyō. Since then the deer have been regarded as heavenly animals, protecting the city and the country.

Tame deer roam through the town, especially in Nara Park. Snack vendors sell 'shika sembei' (deer biscuits) to visitors so they can enjoy feeding the deer. Some of the deer have learned to bow in response to tourists' bows. They nudge, jostle, and even bite for food.


Nara Prefecture (奈良県) Nara-ken

Nara Prefecture (奈良県, Nara-ken) is a prefecture in the Kansai region on Honshū Island, Japan. The capital is the city of Nara.


Kansai region 関西地方, Kansai-chihō

The Kansai region (関西地方, Kansai-chihō) or the Kinki region (近畿地方, Kinki-chihō) lies in the southern-central region of Japan's main island Honshū. The region includes the prefectures of Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, and Shiga. Depending on who makes the distinction, Mie, Fukui, Tokushima and even Tottori Prefecture are also included. While the use of the terms 'Kansai' and 'Kinki' have changed over history, in most modern contexts the two can be considered the same. The urban region of Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto (Keihanshin region) is the second most populated in Japan after the Greater Tokyo Area.


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