建仁寺   Click to listen highlighted text! 建仁寺

(ken nin ji)

Kennin-ji is a historic Zen Buddhist temple located in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto, Japan. Founded in 1202 by the monk Eisai, the temple played a significant role in introducing the Rinzai sect of Zen Buddhism to Japan. With its sprawling grounds, serene atmosphere, and rich history, Kennin-ji is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in Japanese culture and spirituality.

The temple is famous for its dragons, which can be seen painted on the ceiling of the Dharma Hall. These dragons, painted in vivid colors, are said to represent the power and majesty of Zen Buddhism. According to legend, the dragons were painted by the famous artist Koizumi Junsaku in the 16th century, and they are still considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Japanese art.

The main hall of Kennin-ji, known as the Hatto, was built in the 16th century and is considered a masterpiece of Japanese architecture. The hall features a beautiful garden with a pond, as well as several works of art, including a statue of the Bodhisattva Monju and a collection of ancient sutras.

Another notable feature of Kennin-ji is the Chohojo, a small hall located on the temple grounds that was built in the 13th century. The hall features a painting of a dragon on its ceiling, which is said to have been painted by the founder of the temple, Eisai himself. The Chohojo is also home to a beautiful statue of the Buddha.

In addition to its dragons and architectural wonders, Kennin-ji also has a rich history. The temple played an important role in the development of Zen Buddhism in Japan and was a favorite of several famous historical figures, including the warrior Oda Nobunaga and the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Today, the temple continues to be an important center of Zen practice and is open to visitors who wish to experience the tranquility and spiritual power of Zen Buddhism.

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