Monday, January 23, 2006

Byodo-In Temple

So this past weekend, Ryan and I took a short trip and flew into Kyoto, Japan. Nah...nah, just kidding. I wish we could have, but instead we drove around the island and made a visit to the Byodo-In Temple which is situated at Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. It was established on June 7, 1968 to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. The temple was built entirely without the use of nails and it is a scale replica of the temple at Uji, Kyoto Japan that was constructed over 900 years ago. The Byodo-In is built to represent the mythical phoenix, its wings upheld by pillars of stone. Folklore tells of the phoenix arising from the ashes to reflect the promises of hope and renewal.

The Bell House, called kanetsu-ki-do, contains a five foot high, three ton brass bell, called bon-sho (sacred bell), cast in Osaka, Japan from a mixture of bronze and tin, by permission of the government of Japan. It closely resembles the bell hanging in an identical Bell House at the Uji Byodo-In. The original is said to be more than 900 years old and to have come from India. It is revered for its distinctive shape, and the tone of the bell sounds a message of deep calm and peace, cleansing the mind of evil and temptation. The resonant sound of the bon-sho creates an atmosphere of tranquility for meditation that travels for some distance. A soft wooden log called the "shu-moku" is used to strike the bell. The bell is customarily rung before one enters the temple to spread the eternal teachings of Buddha.

The Magnificent Byodo-In temple translates "Temple of Equality - not to discriminate" and is home to Amida, a golden Buddha unique to the entire world. The Hall is popularly known as Hoo-do, or the Phoenix Hall, because a pair of the legendary birds of good omen and of Chinese origin is seen perched on both ends of the roof with their wings spread and ready to fly away. The halls containing two wings reflects stability as well as artistic beauty. Have you been there yet?

//m.u.s.i.c V.I.D.E.O

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