As I walked along the approach to Daitoku-ji Temple with the Kinmoukaku Gate by my side, the next thing I saw was Hatto, a Dharma Hall. This is Daitoku-ji Temple in Kyoto. It is the head temple of the Daitokuji sect of Rinzai Buddhism. The Rinzai sect is one of the Zen sects along with the Soto and Obaku sects, and in Zen temples, the Hatto is the hall where the sermon is held. Both Kennin-ji Temple and Kencho-ji Temple, which are also Rinzai temples, have splendid structures called Hatto.
In Chinese Buddhist temples, the main Buddha is enshrined in the Buddha hall, while the Dharma is a place for preaching. In Japan, however, the distinction between the two is ambiguous. In many temples, the main hall, which is a combination of the Buddha hall and Dharma Hall, is considered to be the main temple complex. In fact, the Hatto of Kennin-ji Temple doubles as the Buddhist temple, and a seated statue of Shakyamuni Buddha sits on the altar where people preaching are supposed to ascend. The Kencho-ji temple in Kamakura also has a seated statue of the thousand-armed Kannon (Goddess of Mercy) on the platform, although it does not serve as a Buddhist temple. Even though they adopted the architectural style from China, they arranged it in a Japanese way.
I wondered what was going on inside the Dharma Hall of Daitoku-ji Temple. I'm curious. Unfortunately, the temple was closed to the public, so I couldn't get a glimpse of the inside.
April 26, 2021
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF
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