Toji   東寺

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Toji Temple

Toji pagoda temple.

Toji Temple

Buddha of healing Yakushi-nyorai, the Toji temple.

Age old Buddhism!

Steeped in history, the Toji complex spans the years from its expansion in the ninth century to its current collaboration with the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in France.

A certain sense of grandeur. In the "temple of the East" which designates the entire site whose construction began in 796, space and gigantism have a prominent place. Within its main temple, a three-dimensional mandala (an esoteric chart, which is a support for meditation), composed of twenty-one wooden statues takes its place in the Kobo, the teaching room. Teaching, for it is here that the monk Kukai (774-835), founder of the Shingon Buddhist  esoteric school, "the true word" gave the first of its moral precepts. Taking the management  of Toji in charge in 823, Kukai, who also ensured the management of Kongobuji at Mount Koya, he made Kyoto the main center for the diffusion of this esoteric Buddhism.

Majestic pagoda

Further along, three or four children run around a pagoda, the highest in Japan with its five floors and fifty seven meters in height; three centuries old, the guardian of the site, it is the ancestral Japanese figure. Destroyed by numerous fires, the buildings were rebuilt in the early seventeenth century. In the Kondô, the main hall, the triad of Yakushi Nyorai, the healer Buddha watches over the site. Other annexes can be visited, mainly the Taishi-do " the temple of the great master" and the residence of Kukai, who became Kobo Daishi, "the great master of law". An eminent scholar, today he still spreads religion and Japanese civilization. On the 21st of each month a flea market is organized in the temple in honor of the monk.

The visit ends with the Toji Museum, which houses a large collection of artworks and which collaborates with the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in France, which is reflected in the exhibition of the work of painter and sculptor Marc Couturier... A journey through time full of symbols and which is not to be missed!

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