Kyoto Kyoto City, is the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture, located in the Kansai region of Japan. It is best known in Japanese history for being the former Imperial capital of Japan for more than one thousand years, as well as a major part of the Kyoto-Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area. In Japanese, Kyoto was called Kyō, Miyako, or Kyō no Miyako. In the 11th century, the city was renamed Kyoto, from the Chinese calligraphic, jingdu. After the city of Edo was renamed Tokyo in 1868, the seat of the Emperor was moved there, Kyoto was for a short time known as Saikyō. Kyoto is sometimes called the thousand-year capital; the National Diet never passed any law designating a capital. Foreign spellings for the city's name have included Kioto and Meaco, utilised by Dutch cartographers. Another term used to refer to the city in the pre-modern period was Keishi, meaning "urba" or "capital". Ample archaeological evidence suggests human settlement in Kyoto began as early as the Paleolithic period, although not much published material is retained about human activity in the area before the 6th century, around which time the Shimogamo Shrine is believed to have been established.
During the 8th century, when powerful Buddhist clergy became involved in the affairs of the Imperial government, Emperor Kanmu chose to relocate the capital in order to distance it from the clerical establishment in Nara. His last choice for the site was the village of Uda, in the Kadono district of Yamashiro Province; the new city, Heian-kyō, a scaled replica of the Tang capital Chang'an, became the seat of Japan's imperial court in 794, beginning the Heian period of Japanese history. Although military rulers established their governments either in Kyoto or in other cities such as Kamakura and Edo, Kyoto remained Japan's capital until the transfer of the imperial court to Tokyo in 1869 at the time of the Imperial Restoration; the city suffered extensive destruction in the Ōnin War of 1467–1477, did not recover until the mid-16th century. During the Ōnin War, the shugo collapsed, power was divided among the military families. Battles between samurai factions spilled into the streets, came to involve the court nobility and religious factions as well.
Nobles' mansions were transformed into fortresses, deep trenches dug throughout the city for defense and as firebreaks, numerous buildings burned. The city has not seen such widespread destruction since. In the late 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi reconstructed the city by building new streets to double the number of north-south streets in central Kyoto, creating rectangle blocks superseding ancient square blocks. Hideyoshi built earthwork walls called odoi encircling the city. Teramachi Street in central Kyoto is a Buddhist temple quarter where Hideyoshi gathered temples in the city. Throughout the Edo period, the economy of the city flourished as one of three major cities in Japan, the others being Osaka and Edo; the Hamaguri rebellion of 1864 burnt down 28,000 houses in the city which showed the rebels' dissatisfaction towards the Tokugawa Shogunate. The subsequent move of the Emperor to Tokyo in 1869 weakened the economy; the modern city of Kyoto was formed on April 1, 1889. The construction of Lake Biwa Canal in 1890 was one measure taken to revive the city.
The population of the city exceeded one million in 1932. There was some consideration by the United States of targeting Kyoto with an atomic bomb at the end of World War II because, as an intellectual center of Japan, it had a population large enough to persuade the emperor to surrender. In the end, at the insistence of Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, the city was removed from the list of targets and replaced by Nagasaki; the city was spared from conventional bombing as well, although small-scale air raids did result in casualties. As a result, the Imperial City of Kyoto is one of the few Japanese cities that still have an abundance of prewar buildings, such as the traditional townhouses known as machiya. However, modernization is continually breaking down the traditional Kyoto in favor of newer architecture, such as the Kyōto Station complex. Kyoto became a city designated by government ordinance on September 1, 1956. In 1997, Kyoto hosted the conference.
Kyoto is located in a valley, part of the Yamashiro Basin, in the eastern part of the mountainous region known as the Tamba highlands. The Yamashiro Basin is surrounded on three sides by mountains known as Higashiyama and Nishiyama, with a height just above 1,000 metres above sea level; this interior positioning results in cold winters. There are three rivers in the basin, the Ujigawa to the south, the Katsuragawa to the west, the Kamogawa to the east. Kyoto City takes up 17.9% of the land in the prefecture with an area of 827.9 square kilometres. The original city was arranged in accordance with traditional Chinese feng shui following the model of the ancient Chinese capital of Chang'an; the Imperial Palace faced south. The streets in the modern-day wards of Nakagyō, Shimogyō, Kamigyō-ku still follow a grid pattern. Today, the main business district is located to the south of the old Imperial Palace, with the less-populated northern area retaining a fa
Mount Hiei is a mountain to the northeast of Kyoto, lying on the border between the Kyoto and Shiga Prefectures, Japan. The temple of Enryaku-ji, the first outpost of the Japanese Tendai sect of Buddhism, was founded atop Mount Hiei by Saichō in 788. Hōnen, Nichiren, Dōgen and Shinran all studied at the temple before leaving to start their own practices; the temple complex was razed by Oda Nobunaga in 1571 to quell the rising power of Tendai's warrior monks, but it was rebuilt and remains the Tendai headquarters to this day. The 19th-century Japanese ironclad Hiei was named after this mountain, as was the more famous World War II-era battleship Hiei, the latter having been built as a battlecruiser. Mount Hiei has been featured in many folk tales over the ages, it was thought to be the home of gods and demons of Shinto lore, although it is predominantly known for the Buddhist monks that come from the temple of Enryaku-ji. John Stevens wrote the book The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei, chronicling the practice of walking long distances – up to 52 miles a day for 100 straight days, in an effort to attain enlightenment.
The practice of walking is known as the kaihōgyō. A 2010 US National Public Radio report described the sennichi kaihōgyō as...1,000 days of walking meditation and prayer over a seven-year period around Mount Hiei. Walked 26 miles a day for periods of either 100 or 200 consecutive days — a total distance about the same as walking around the Earth. Beyond the mountain itself, its forests, the views it affords – of Kyoto, of Ohara, of lake Biwa and Shiga – the main attraction is the temple complex of Enryaku-ji; the temple complex spreads out over the mountain, but is concentrated in three areas, connected by foot trails. There are more minor temples and shrines. Unusually, there are a number of French-themed attractions – the peak itself features the Garden Museum Hiei, themed on French impressionism, featuring gardens and French paintings, while there is a French-themed hotel, "L'hotel de Hiei"; the mountain is busiest during the daytime, but has some visitors in the evenings, for light-up displays and to see the night view of the surrounding towns.
The mountain is a popular area for hikers and a toll road provides access by automobile to the top of the mountain. There are two routes of funiculars: the Eizan Cable from the Kyoto side to the connecting point with an aerial tramway to the top, the Sakamoto Cable from the Shiga side to the foot of Enryaku-ji; the attractions on the mountain are quite spread out, so there are regular buses during the daytime connecting the attractions. The center for these is the bus center, in front of the entrance to the main temple complex at Tō-tō. Kaihōgyō Shugendō The 100 Views of Nature in Kansai Anthony Kuhn, "Monk's Enlightenment Begins With A Marathon Walk," National Public Radio. - Enryakuji
For the Arena in Debrecen, Hungary see Fonix Hall. For the replica temple in Hawaii, see Byodo-In Temple. Byōdō-in is a Buddhist temple in the city of Uji in Kyoto Prefecture, built in late Heian period, it is jointly a temple of the Tendai-shū sects. This temple was built in 998 in the Heian period as a rural villa of high-ranking courtier Minamoto no Shigenobu, Minister of the Left. After he died, one of the most powerful members of the Fujiwara clan, Fujiwara no Michinaga, purchased the property from the courtier's widow; the villa was made into a Buddhist temple by Fujiwara no Yorimichi in 1052. The most famous building in the temple is the Phoenix Hall or the Amida Hall, constructed in 1053, it is the only remaining original building, surrounded by a scenic pond. The main building in Byōdō-in, the Phoenix Hall consists of a central hall, flanked by twin wing corridors on both sides of the central hall, a tail corridor; the central hall houses an image of Amida Buddha. The roof of the hall displays statues of called hōō in Japanese.
The Phoenix Hall, completed in 1053, is the exemplar of Fujiwara Amida halls. It consists of a main rectangular structure flanked by two L-shaped wing corridors and a tail corridor, set at the edge of a large artificial pond. Though its official name is Amida-dō, it began to be called Hōō-dō, or Phoenix Hall, in the beginning of the Edo period; this name is considered to derive both from the building's likeness to a phoenix with outstretched wings and a tail, the pair of phoenixes adorning the roof. Inside the Phoenix Hall, a single image of Amida is installed on a high platform; the Amida sculpture is covered with gold leaf. It was executed by Jōchō, who used a new canon of proportions and a new technique, yosegi, in which multiple pieces of wood are carved out like shells and joined from the inside; the statue measures about three meters high from its face to its knees, is seated. Applied to the walls of the hall are small relief carvings of celestials, the host believed to have accompanied Amida when he descended from the Western Paradise to gather the souls of believers at the moment of death and transport them in lotus blossoms to Paradise.
Raigō paintings on the wooden doors of the Phoenix Hall, depicting the Descent of the Amida Buddha, are an early example of Yamato-e, Japanese-style painting, contain representations of the scenery around Kyoto. There is a Jōdo-shiki garden with a pond in front of the building, which in 1997 was dredged as part of an archeological dig; the gardens are Place of Scenic Beauty. The Byōdō-in museum stores and displays most of Byōdō-in's national treasures, including 52 wooden Bodhisattvas, the temple bell, the south end Phoenix, other noteworthy items. Japan commemorates the building's longevity and cultural significance by displaying its image on the 10 yen coin, the 10,000 yen note features the phoenix image. In December 1994, UNESCO listed the building as a World Heritage Site as part of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto"; the Phoenix Hall, the great statue of Amida inside it, several other items at Byōdō-in are national treasures. A half-size replica of the temple was completed on June 1968 in the Valley of the Temples.
The Japanese post has issued three definitive postage stamps showing the phoenix hall, each prepaying the postal rate for a surface mail foreign letter: 1950, 24 yen 1957 and 30 yen 1959. Stamps were produced by the costly engraving method, showing the appreciation of the hall. Entry to the complex grounds costs 600 yen for adults, includes access to the gardens and the museum. An entry pass to the Phoenix Hall, newly restored in March 2014, costs an additional 300 yen and can be purchased near the gate. Battle of Uji List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan List of National Treasures of Japan For an explanation of terms concerning Japanese Buddhism, Japanese Buddhist art, Japanese Buddhist temple architecture, see the Glossary of Japanese Buddhism. Shinden-zukuri Official homepage Official homepage Japan National Tourism Organization: Byodo-in Temple Byodo-in - Ancient History Encyclopedia
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word
Ōtsu is the capital city of Shiga Prefecture, Japan. Ōtsu is known as the main port of the largest lake in Japan. It served as the capital of Japan from 667 to 672 AD during the Asuka period; the city is home to numerous sites of historical importance, notably the temples of Mii-dera, Ishiyama-dera, Enryaku-ji and the Hiyoshi Taisha shrine. Enryaku-ji is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto". Ōtsu was incorporated as a town on April 1, 1889. In October 1, 1898, Ōtsu-town was changed to Ōtsu-city; as of October 1, 2017, the city has an estimated population of 341,187 and a population density of 730 persons per km2. The total area is 464.51 km2. Ōtsu, meaning "big port", was a center of inland water transportation since ancient times. The city was an important port on Lake Biwa, a center of trade by water and land to other areas of Japan. Ōtsu was part of an old province of Japan until the modern period. The port is referred to in the Man ` yōshū as Shiga no Shigatsu.
In the years 667 to 672, the Ōmi Ōtsu Palace was founded by Emperor Tenji. The Jinshin War devastated the Ōmi Ōtsu Palace, Ōtsu was renamed Furutsu. A new capital, Heian-kyō, was established in the immediate neighborhood in 794, Ōtsu was revived as an important traffic point and satellite town of the capital. With the establishment of the new capital, the name of the city was restored to "Ōtsu". Ōtsu prospered during the Edo period because of the port on Lake Biwa and for its role as a shukuba, or post town. The city was under direct administration of the Tokugawa shogunate, both for its strategic location and for its role as a center of travel and trade. Two of the Gokaidō, or five routes that connected the capitol at Edo with other parts of Japan, converged in Ōtsu: the great Tōkaidō connecting Edo with Kyoto, the Nakasendō connecting Edo with Kyoto via an inland route. Additionally, the ancient Hokurikudō, which connected Kyoto to the provinces of northern Honshu, ran through Otsu; the Tokugawa shogunate established several han domains in the Ōtsu area.
The Zeze Domain was based in Zeze, a neighboring castle town of Ōtsu-juku, the smaller Katada Domain occupied the northern area of the present-day city. The Meiji Restoration of 1868 saw the establishment of a new central government in Tokyo and the abolition of the han system. Numerous prefectures under control of the Meiji government were created, part of the old province of Ōmi was designated as Ōtsu Prefecture in 1868. Several smaller prefectures were merged into Ōtsu Prefecture in 1871, which became part of present-day Shiga Prefecture on January 1, 1872. Ōtsu a town, was named the prefectural capital of Shiga. The Ōtsu incident, a failed assassination attempt on Tsarevich Nicholas Alexandrovich of Russia, occurred on 11 May 1891. Nicholas, returning to Kyoto after a day trip to Lake Biwa, was attacked with a saber by Tsuda Sanzō, an escort policeman. Nicholas survived the assassination attempt, but the incident caused national outcry against Tsuda and was seen as a crisis in Japanese-Russian relations.
The Lake Biwa Canal was constructed in the 1890s between Kyoto. The canal, expanded during the Taishō period, played an important role in connecting the cities, facilitating water and passenger transportation, providing electrical energy to power Japan's first streetcar railroad services; the canal was designated a Historic Site in 1996.Ōtsu was incorporated as a city on October 1, 1898. On March 20, 2006, the town of Shiga ceased to exist after merging into Ōtsu. Ōtsu is located at the southwest of Shiga Prefecture. The city stretches along the southwest shore of Lake Biwa, Japan's largest lake. Ōtsu ranges from the densely populated alluvium depressions near the shore of Lake Biwa to sparsely populated hilly and mountainous areas to the west and south of the city. Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan, covers 673.9 square kilometres and is located at the center of the Shiga Prefecture. The north part of the lake reaches a depth of 50 metres, the south part of the lake near Ōtsu is much shallower and reaches a depth of 5 metres.
Lake Biwa provides water for the industrial areas of the Kansai Region and drinking water in the Shiga area. The lake has been a travel destination since ancient times, continues to support the tourism industry of the prefecture; the lake is protected as part of Biwako Quasi-National Park. Lake Biwa is home to the Lake Biwa Marathon, which started in Osaka in 1946, moved to Lake Biwa in 1962, it is considered to be the oldest marathon in Japan. The Yodo River emerges from the south of Lake Biwa; the portion of the river that emerges from the lake is called the Seta River. The Setagawa Dam was constructed in 1961 to regulate the level of Lake Biwa, is located in the Nangō district of Ōtsu; the Yodo River is noted for having the largest number of tributaries of any river in Japan, for supplying water for the Hanshin Industrial Region. Ōtsu was noted for the production of several products, including Ōtsu-e, a form of folk drawing purchased by travelers in the Edo period.
Rāgarāja is a dharmapala deity from the Esoteric and Vajrayana Buddhist traditions. He is venerated in the Tang Esoteric schools and its descendants Shingon and Tendai in Japan. Rāgarāja is known to transform worldly lust into spiritual awakening. A Hindu deity, he was adapted as a dharmapala and Wisdom King; when scriptures related to him reached China during the Tang dynasty, his Sanskrit name was translated as Àirǎn Míngwáng "Love-stained Wisdom King". In Japanese, it is written the same way in Kanji but pronounced as Aizen Myō'ō. Rāgarāja known as Aizen-Myōō, is one of the five Wisdom Kings like Acala. There are four different mandalas associated with Rāgarāja: The first posits him with thirty-seven assistant devas, the second with seventeen; the other two are special arrangements: one made by fourth Tendai patriarch. Rāgarāja is depicted in statuary and thangka having two heads: Rāgarāja and Acala or Rāgarāja and Guanyin, both iterations symbolizing a commingling of subjugated, complimentary energies male/female but Male/male.
There are two, four or six armed incarnations of Rāgarāja but the six-armed one is the most common. Those six arms bear a bell, he is portrayed as a red-skinned man with a fearsome appearance, a vertical third eye and flaming wild hair that represents rage and passion. The Lustful-Tinted Wisdom King was popular amongst Chinese tradesmen who worked in the fabric-dying craft accomplished with sorghum, he is still venerated as a patron of landlords, prostitutes and petitioned by devotees for a peaceful home and abundant fortune in business. There is a lion's head on top of his head in his hair, representing the mouth into which thoughts and wishes may be fed; some of these are the wishes of local devotees who make formal requests for success in marriage and sexual relations. According to the "Pavilion of Vajra Peak and all its Yogas and Yogins Sutra" with the abbreviated name of the "Yogins Sutra" Rāgarāja represents the state at which harnessed sexual excitement or agitation—which are otherwise decried as defilements—are seen as equal to enlightenment "bonno soku bodai," and passionate love can become compassion for all living things.
Rāgarāja is similar to the red form of Tara, called Kurukulla, in Tibetan Buddhism. Appropriately, Rāgarāja's mantras are pronounced in either Chinese or Japanese transliterations of Sanskrit, his seed vowel, as written in bonji, is pronounced "HUM," with a forceful emphasis coming from the use of lower belly muscles. This is part of the syncretic practice of mixing Tantra and Buddhism as was popular during his heyday in Heian period courts and amongst the lower classes of both China and Japan, his popularity in Japan reached an apogee when a Shingon priest used magical chants and rituals to call up the Kamikaze that protected the Japanese from sea-born invaders. Examples of his mantras can be found on YouTube
Ennin, better known in Japan by his posthumous name, Jikaku Daishi, was a priest of the Tendai school of Buddhism in Japan, its third Zasu. Ennin was instrumental in expanding the Tendai Order's influence, bringing back crucial training and resources from China esoteric Buddhist training, Pure Land teachings, he was born into the Mibu family in present-day Tochigi Prefecture and entered the Buddhist priesthood at Enryaku-ji on Mt. Hiei near Kyoto at the age of 14. In 838, Ennin was in the party which accompanied Fujiwara no Tsunetsugu's diplomatic mission to the Tang dynasty Imperial court; the trip to China marked the beginning of a set of adventures. He studied under two masters and spent some time at Wutaishan, a mountain range famous for its numerous Buddhist temples in Shanxi Province in China, he went to Chang'an the capital of China, where he was ordained into both mandala rituals. He wrote of his travels by ship while sailing along the Grand Canal of China. Ennin was in China when the anti-Buddhist Emperor Wuzong of Tang took the throne in 840, he lived through the Great Anti-Buddhist Persecution of 842–846.
As a result of the persecution, he was deported from China, returning to Japan in 847. In 847 he returned to Japan and in 854, he became the third abbot of the Tendai sect at Enryakuji, where he built buildings to store the sutras and religious instruments he brought back from China, his dedication to expanding the monastic complex and its courses of study assured the Tendai school a unique prominence in Japan. While his chief contribution was to strengthen the Tendai tantric Buddhist tradition, the Pure Land recitation practices that he introduced helped to lay a foundation for the independent Pure Land movements of the subsequent Kamakura period. Ennin founded the temple of Ryushakuji at Yamadera, he wrote more than one hundred books. His diary of travels in China, Nittō Guhō Junrei Kōki, was translated into English by Professor Edwin O. Reischauer under the title Ennin's Diary: The Record of a Pilgrimage to China in Search of the Law. Sometimes ranked among the best travelogues in world literature, it is a key source of information on life in Tang China and Silla Korea and offers a rare glimpse of the Silla personality Jang Bogo.
Edwin O. Reischauer, Ennin's Diary: The Record of a Pilgrimage to China in Search of the Law. Edwin O. Reischauer, Ennin's Travels in T'ang China. Retracing the steps of Ennin, a travelog of a partial retracing of Ennin's journey made in 2006, with photographs