Osaka–Shitennouji Temple

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17 October 2011

The Shitennouji (Temple of the Four Heavenly Kings) is Japan’s oldest surviving Buddhist temple. It was built by Prince Shoutoku (574-622), one of the country’s earliest and most important converts to Buddhism. As with most such ancient structures it has been burned down and rebuilt several times.

The entrance is a torii, reflecting a time when no firm distinction was made between a Buddhist temple and a Shinto shrine.

I think this is an image of the prince.

A statue of Shinran, the founder of the New Pure Land sect.

The tallest building is a traditional Buddhist 5 story pagoda.

Inside the pagoda are some interesting murals and figures, rather primitive and presumably ancient. There was no sign forbidding picture taking so I went ahead and took some.

The building next to the pagoda has a very impressive set of murals depicting the life of the historical Buddha. Unfortunately in this case there was a sign forbidding photographs.

All posts from this trip.

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