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2013 photos
Hasedera Buddhist Temple
Commonly called the Hase-kannon
Kamakura, Japan


Hasedera Buddhist Temple Origins

Legend relates that in 711, a priest by the name of "Tokudo" of Hasedera  instructed two sculptors to carve a pair of Eleven-Headed Kan'non statues out of a single block of camphor which was felled from the forest behind the temple. After the pair of the statues were made, Priest Tokudo dedicated one to Hasedera in Nara, and set the other adrift at sea shore praying that may Kan'non help people who lived wherever it might reach.

Twenty-five years later in 736, it was washed ashore at the beach of Nagai, the other side of Kamakura. A court noble picked up the statue and enshrined it at the present Hasedera Buddhist Temple naming Priest Tokudo as the founding priest. Hence the Temple's assertion that it was founded in 736.

See Buddhist temples.


Entrance gate (Mon) ......  Six details below:



Entrance gate (Mon) ... #1 of six details ... Curved eaves



Entrance gate (Mon) ... #2 of six details



Entrance gate (Mon) ... #3 of six details



Entrance gate (Mon) ... #4 of six details:  tokyō, a system of supporting blocks and brackets supporting the eaves of a Japanese building, usually part of a Buddhist temple or Shinto shrine.



Entrance gate (Mon) ... #5 of six details



Entrance gate (Mon) ... #6 of six details ... Rafter ends painted white for preservation and decoration.


Hasedera is built along the slope of a wooded hill. A strolling garden with ponds is found at the base of the slope just after entering.



Stone lantern in pond
See photos of another pond below.


 
Shōrō: a temple's belfry, a building from which a bell is hung .... Three details below:



Shōrō: a temple's belfry: #1 of three details


Shōrō: a temple's belfry: #2 of three details.  Note wooden bell ringer at right.



Shōrō: a temple's belfry: #3 of three details.



The temple's main buildings are built further up the slope, reached via stairs. Along the way stands the Jizo-do Hall with hundreds of small Jizō statues of the Jizo Bodhisattva placed by parents mourning offspring lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion. These statues remain in place for about a year, before being removed to make way for more statues; it is estimated that some 50,000 Jizō statues have been placed at Hase-dera since WWII.
Two details below:



Jizo-do Hall: #1 of two details



Jizo-do Hall: #3 of two details



Strolling garden ... Two details below:



Strolling garden - #1 of two details



Strolling garden - #1 of two details: stone lantern



Torii in front of the Benten Kutsu Cave.
The temple is built on two levels and also includes an underground cave. The cave, called benten kutsu cave, contains a long winding tunnel with a low ceiling and various statues and devotionals to Benzaiten, the sea goddess and the only female of the Seven Lucky Gods in Japanese mythology. One of the statues:



Benten Kutsu Cave Benzaiten statue



Pond: 2 details below:



Pond: #1 of two details



Pond: #2 of two details



Garden featuring stones and gravel.
3 details below:



Garden featuring stones and gravel - #1 of three details



Garden featuring stones and gravel -  #2 of three details



Garden featuring stones and gravel -  #3 of  three details


Main building



Main building



Main building
Slightly curved eaves  ... The weakest part of the roof, the ridge, is reinforced with layers of ceramic tiles and mortar, topped with a line of cylindrical tiles, and finished at the gable with a decorative onigawara (below) demon tile ...  End tiles ... Two rows of rafters



Incense burner



Stone lantern



Incense burner ... The weakest part of the roof, the ridge, is reinforced with layers of ceramic tiles and mortar, topped with a line of cylindrical tiles, and finished at the gable with a decorative onigawara (below) demon tile





Kamakura Bay



Kamakura Bay



Photos and their arrangement 2013 Chuck LaChiusa
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