The Dendoin at Hongan-ji Temple is original Japanese architecture.

The Dendoin building was built in 1912 as an office building for the health insurance company of Shingonshu. It has been used as the Dendoin at Hongan-ji temple since 1973. It was designated as a tangible cultural asset of Kyoto in 1988. Today, I’d like to introduce to you, this unique architectural structure designed by Chuta Ito.

2017-04-21   Travel Destinations, Kyoto,

Dendoin at Hongan-ji Temple


【CONTENTS】
Who is Chuta Ito?
Yokai and Cryptid
An interesting contrast to the town

Dendoin at Hongan-ji Temple

Who is Chuta Ito?

He was born in 1876 and was the first to contribute to the architectural history of Japan. He also taught architecture. He advocated the “Evolution theory of Architecture,” which promoted the use of stone and iron materials while the Japanese wooden architectural style evolved.

He visited China, India, Turkey, Europe, and America to study for three years in 1902. He met Otani Kozui and Abbot of the Nishi Hongan-ji, who was and expeditor. Hongan-ji Dendoin was built in 1912 after Otani Kozui requested that Chuta return to Japan.

You can see the influence from the countries he has been to in the architecture.

A sculpture of a cryptid
A sculpture of a cryptid
A sculpture of a cryptid
A sculpture of a cryptid

Yokai and Cryptid

Chuta Ito is famously known as a Yokai enthusiast, and even published a design book on it.

He uses these cryptids’ and Yokais’ in his architecture. The sculpture found at Hongan-ji is also very unique. Dragons and cranes are two famous cryptids in Japan.

Street with a Buddhist altar
Street with a Buddhist altar

An interesting contrast to the town

Hongan-ji Dendoin is located on the shopping street where you’ll find many Buddhist altars. The contrast of the shopping street with the temple is very unique.

Karamong gate
Karamong gate

The Nishi Hongan-ji temple, built in the Azuchi Momoyama era (1573 to 1603), and the Hinkaku Pavillion, built in the 17th Century, are both located near the Hongan-ji Dendoin. Karamon gate has so many interesting sculptures to see, so check them out when you visit!

Nihi Hongan-ji temple:http://tadaimajp.com/2016/08/nishi-hongan-ji-temple/

It’s interesting to follow Chuta Ito’s work by visiting these interesting architectural structures and getting to know their history.

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AUTHOR

kyoami

kyoami

Writer/ Translator

I love Japanese folkcraft article, traditional handicrafts and antiques. I’m seeking the Japanese people’s religious outlooks and its origins that are behind Japanese people’s unique sense and techniques rooted in the ordinary life.