It was neither Obon nor Higan, and I happened to be passing through the large gate of a Buddhist temple. As soon as I stepped inside, I saw the main hall. The main hall of Zentoku-ji Temple, located across the national highway from Ashikaga School in Ashikaga City, was magnificent.
Despite the splendor of the main hall, the precincts were deserted. When I visited, there was no one in front of the main hall. According to my research, this Buddhist temple was founded by Ashikaga Takauji, the founder of the Ashikaga Shogunate, but it is not a tourist attraction and is usually surrounded by silence.
As I walked to the main hall, the door was closed. It seemed that I couldn't go inside. I couldn't see the inside of the main hall, but what I was interested in was the white elephant figurine placed in front of it. It was the 8th of April. It seemed to be an elephant to carry the Hanamatsuri (flower festival).
Although you don't see many elephants when you walk around the temple grounds, there is a deep relationship between Buddhism and elephants. In Buddhism, there is a story that when Madame Maya, the mother of Buddha, was pregnant, she dreamt that a white elephant entered her womb. In some places, a flower festival is held on April 8, the birthday of the Buddha, and a procession of young children carrying a white statue of the Buddha with a flower shrine is held. This temple, Zentoku-ji Temple, seems to be one such temple.
|Oct 2021 ARCHITECTURE TOCHIGI|
|ASHIKAGA ELEPHANT HALL ROOF TABLET TEMPLE|
October 7, 2021
January 31, 2023
SONY ALPHA 7R II
ZEISS BATIS 2/40 CF