The Golden Hall of Konjiki-dō

The Golden Hall of Konjiki-dō

18.01.2019

 

In the north of Honshu island, near Hiraizumi, there is a block of Buddhist temples built by the Fujiwara clan that reigned in XI-XIII centuries.

The most famous landmark of these places is a stunning golden hall of the Chūson-ji temple, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

In the photo: the monastery was built during the most peaceful period that lasted about a hundred years, eventually interrupted by the Minamoto clan’s war.

 

The history of the golden hall

At the beginning of the XII century, the emperor of Japan ordered the northern ruler to rearrange and properly decorate the monastery. Several temples were built and restored within 21 years of continuous work, a three-tiered pagoda and the golden hall of Konjiki-dō were built that miraculously survived the fire of 1337, when almost all the other buildings burned down.

Today the hall is located inside a protective covering made of concrete. In the shade of four-hundred-year-old cedars, a long road of many steps leads to the hall.

In the photo: the road to Konjiki-dō.

 

The building is covered with gold leaf and traditional Japanese lacquer, mother-of-pearl inlays are used in the decorations.

In the photo: There are 33 gilded statues inside the altar’s room.

 

The golden hall withstood an earthquake

The Chūson-ji temple is located 40 kilometers off the Pacific Ocean coast, almost 200 kilometers north of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The earthquake of March 11, 2011 severely damaged the roads and buildings of the city, but the temples themselves were unaffected.

 

Gold protects the hall

The golden hall is almost 900 years old, but it shines like new. Gold prevents the hall from aging due to its non-oxidizing and non-deteriorative properties. The precious yellow metal will last for thousands of years, serving as a reliable protection for Konjiki-dō.

The hall of Konjiki-dō is the epitome of the Buddhist idea of a heavenly place. Every year, on January 1, hundreds of Buddha worshipers gather in the temple to pray for a peaceful and rich life.

 

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