三縁山増上寺 San’en-zan Zōjō-ji

2012年 08月 29日 東京

Sangedatsu Gate (三解脱門 Sangedatsu Mon), 1622, Important Cultural Property: The temple’s only original structure to survive the Second World War. “San” (三) means “three”, and “Gedatsu” (解脱) means “Moksha“. If someone passes through the gate, he can free himself from three passions (Ton; “greed”, Shin; “hatred”, Chi; “foolishness”).

Six of the 15 Tokugawa shoguns are buried at Zōjō-ji. The graves of Hidetada (and the monument to his wife Sūgen’in), Ienobu, and Ietsugu had been designated National Treasures of Japan, but were burned in World War II. At present, parts of two of their graves have the distinction of being Important Cultural Properties of Japan. Additional graves are located in the cemetery behind the Great Hall. Parts of the grounds of the temple are now occupied by a golf practice range and a hotel.

in one particular garden at the cemetery, rows of stone statues of children represent the unborn children of Japan, including miscarried, aborted and stillborn children. Parents can choose a statue in the garden and decorate it with small clothing and toys. Usually the statues are accompanied by a small gift for Jizō, the guardian of unborn children to ensure that they are brought to the afterlife. Occasionally stones are piled by the statue, this is meant to shorten the amount of suffering a child has to go through on the way to the afterlife.

Especially seeing the Jizo-Statues in the evening twilight left a deep impression to me.


One comment on “三縁山増上寺 San’en-zan Zōjō-ji

  1. Pingback: Dario No Tabiji ダリオの旅路 – THE JAPAN BLOG DIRECTORY

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