A mother and son, hand in hand, were heading for the gate at the top of the stairs

Gate of Joren-ji
Shot at Joren-ji in Akatsuka, Tokyo ©Tetsu Ozawa
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A parent and child was climbing the stairs leading to the gate. It's hard to see in the photo, but the name "Akatsukayama" is written on the plaque on the gate. This is Joren-ji Temple in Akatsuka, Itabashi Ward, Tokyo. The mountain name of this temple, also known as the Great Buddha of Tokyo, is Akatsukayama. Yama means mountain in Japanese.

Even though there is a steep staircase in front of the temple gate, I still felt a little uncomfortable when I saw the mountain name, Akatsukayama. Is this a mountain? Come to think of it, Senso-ji Temple, which is built on a completely flat land, has the mountain name of Kinryuzan, and Kawasaki Daishi, which is also built on a flat land, has the mountain name of Kongouzan.

A mountain name is a title given to a temple. It is said that in India, the birthplace of Buddhism, there was a tradition of establishing monastic institutions, monasteries and temples in the mountains. Later, in China, where Buddhism spread, temples built in the mountains were given a mountain name to indicate their location, and the name of the mountain and the name of the temple were called together.

It was during the Kamakura period (1185-1333) when Zen temples followed the Chinese system of five mountains and began to give mountain names to temples in the plains. These are the so-called Kamakura Gozan. Since then, the number of temples built on the plains using mountain names has increased. In short, the mountain name has nothing to do with the topography of the place where the temple is built, it is just a title.

日本語
Oct 2021 IN THE CITY TOKYO

Where is Joren-ji Temple?

PHOTO DATA

No

12063

Shooting Date

Apr 2021

Posted On

October 18, 2021

Modified On

November 10, 2021

Place

Akatsuka, Tokyo

Genre

Street Photography

Camera

SONY ALPHA 7R II

Lens

ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF

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