- A shrine connected with FUJIWARA, a noble man from the Heian period
- Strict lifestyle contrary to high culture
- Amida Nyorai
- Take a look at a 10-yen coin and a 10,000-yen note!
A shrine connected with FUJIWARA, a noble man from the Heian period
Byodoin is a famous architectural structure from the Heian period (704~1192). It appeared in the tale of Genji. The shrine was built in the remains of the character’s villa. The tale of Genji is a love story that was written by Murasakishikibu. During this era, high culture was thriving, and you can get an understanding of their glorious lifestyle from the novel. The building and its garden represent the land of perfect bliss that noble men dreamt about 1,000 years ago.
At the time when the Byodoin was built, the influence of Buddhism was becoming weak, because of an epidemic and war. It was believed that there were to be similar disasters for the next 1,000 years at the time.
Strict lifestyle contrary to high culture
It is said that people from that era were superstitious. Some noble men would chant their birthday 7 times in a low voice in the morning, brush their teeth, wash their hands, and pray to the Buddhist god towards the west. The day for cutting finger and toe nails, and going out were decided according to Buddhist teachings.
On unlucky days, which was also decided by Buddhist teachings, people stayed at home. It was called “Monoimi”, and people shut their doors, and put up signs that said, “don’t come in front of our house”. It’s said that they would never see anyone, even if their friends came to visit for very important matters.
Noble men at the time were terrified by the possibility of an epidemic and disasters, because the 3rd age of Buddhism (the degenerate age) began.
Shingen, a Buddhist monk, taught the idea that, if you pray to Amida Nyorai and imagine the land of perfect bliss in the west, you’ll be born again without going to hell. This teaching spread among the noble men and buildings, sculptures, and paintings that modeled the land of perfect bliss were created. Byodoin was one of these buildings.
Take a look at a 10-yen coin and a 10,000-yen note!
An image of Byodoin is on the Japanese, 10-yen coin and 10,000-yen note.
In 1951, Byodoin was chosen as the suitable image for the 10-yen coin, because its architecture has unique attributions. The bird of Hoo, that appears in Byodoin, was chosen for the 10,000-yen note, because it brings us fortune. Take a look closer when you get a 10-yen coin and a 10,000-yen note!
The wisteria flowers in Byodoin are 250 years old and they bloom from the end of April to early May. There will be many tourists coming to see these beautiful flowers.
After walking around the Byodoin, why not have a cup of Uji tea?
For more recommended info, please take a look at this page too!
Renge-116 Uji, Uji-shi, Kyōto-fu 611-0021