法隆寺の深い価値 Tourist Information Various Values of Horyuji Temple


The oldest existing wooden building in the world is Horyuji Temple in Japan, which was built in the early 7th century. Japan’s wooden craftsmanship is highly evaluated and respected overseas, but how much does Japan itself understand its value?


Traditional wooden architecture is architecture that makes use of the properties of wood, and is one of the strengths of Japan that can be presented to the world. It goes without saying that Horyuji Temple is a representative example of this structure, and the temple carpenter Tsunekazu Nishioka is said to have learned the techniques and wisdom of his predecessors from Horyuji Temple. It is a very wonderful thing, and it is said that it should be handed down to the future, and that it is a condensed form of Japanese culture and the techniques and wisdom that the Japanese people have inherited.


Cypress trees are the same as humans, and each one is different, so you have to find out the quirks of each and use them accordingly. That way, a 1,000-year-old cypress tree can be built to last for more than 1,000 years. It is said that Horyuji Temple has been built and protected by the skill of making the most of the trees that have been passed down in this way. Such craftsmanship and intuition cannot be taught at school, and can only be passed on when individuals, masters and apprentices live together.


Oral tradition says, “Use trees in the direction they grow.” Trees on the south side of the mountain are thin but strong, trees on the north side are thick but soft, and trees that grow in the shade are weak. also has the nature It was an important task for the master carpenter to distinguish between the right-twisted tree and the left-twisted tree. Habits are not bad things, but in terms of how to use something, it seems troublesome to use something with a peculiarity, but if you use it well, it is better. Just like humans, the stronger the habit, the stronger the life, and the weaker the obedient tree without the habit. If you don’t take advantage of the environment in which the tree has lived and the characteristics of the tree, even if it’s a masterpiece, it will be wasted. It seems that he only realized this after graduating from agricultural school and being forced to work as a peasant. I don’t waste what I grow, and plants take a lot of time and effort to grow. Also, the more you put your hands on it, the bigger it gets. No matter how much humans rush or rush, the passage of time in nature does not speed up. If you rush, the rice won’t grow and the tree won’t grow thick. Teaching things and training apprentices is natural. I just show you how to sharpen it so that it can be sharpened like this. After showing a sample, that person’s ability cannot exceed that person’s ability, no matter how hard you try. Think and learn by yourself, think and try. Repeat this over and over again to memorize it. This kind of work requires a long period of training and hard work, and it is also difficult for the teaching side.


The pagodas and halls that I was involved in will also undergo the test of time. However, it is said that Nishioka will not be here in 100 or 200 years, so building a tower out of wood or repairing it will be impossible, but that is not the case. If something good is left behind, you can learn from it. Master carpenter Nishioka says that it is necessary to leave a proper thing for that purpose.


Everyone thinks that Horyuji Temple is the temple of Prince Shotoku, but Takeshi Umehara completely changed the view of Horyuji Temple with “The Hidden Cross”. He claims that it was rebuilt as a temple for the repose of vengeful spirits. The Fujiwara clan destroyed Prince Shotoku’s descendants and the Soga clan in an attempt to replace the Soga clan, who were protectors of Buddhism, but to give the impression that they were the protectors of Buddhism and inherited Prince Shotoku’s will. They say they falsified history. It is said that the women around Fujiwara no Fuhito, such as Tachibana Michiyo, Empress Gensho, and Empress Komyo, gave many treasures to Horyuji.
Mr. Umehara points out that the common sense of Horyuji is strange. For example, suppose that the number of pillars in front of an inner gate is usually odd, but because it is an even number, it is a gate without a front and without an exit. The purpose is to confine the spirit of the Prince here and perform the requiem for the angry spirit.


And the shocking one is Yumedono. If only the Sai-in Temple was enough, why did they need another big temple like the East-in Temple, where the Yumedono is located? This is because the four Fujiwara brothers died one after another from an epidemic of smallpox in Tenpyo 9, and it was thought that the vengeful spirit of Prince Shotoku reappeared. The Yumedono was built after that, and like the inner gate, it has a corridor that prevents souls from escaping. I was. In the 17th year of the Meiji era, Fenollosa from America visited this temple with an order from the Meiji government. I took the key and opened the kitchen. It is said that the monks fled en masse, believing that a cataclysm was about to occur. A tall Buddha statue wrapped in cotton cloth came out from inside the shrine.


The Kannon of Guze had a mysterious smile like the Mona Lisa, held a sarira jar, had a hollow body, lacked a back and buttocks, and had a halo banged directly on its head by a large nail. The halo is nailed to the head of the Buddha statue with a large, thick nail, which resembles an act of curse. Did he think that no matter how vindictive the prince’s vengeful spirit would be, he would not be able to wander off with a heavy halo on his back? While Dr. Umehara’s bold hypotheses, demonstrations, and observations that defied common sense and conventional wisdom surprised many scholars, he was met with severe criticism and counterarguments from the standpoint of archeology and history. Even today, there are various discussions about the purpose of building Horyuji Temple, which is full of mysteries, and it seems that there is no complete proof and it remains in the realm of speculation.


With its value as the world’s oldest wooden building and the hypotheses of the ancient romance of Mr. Umehara and others in mind, if you visit Horyuji Temple again, you will be able to enjoy it with a new sensation. The admission fee is 1,500 yen, which is quite expensive, but considering the preservation of the world’s most valuable cultural assets, it may make sense.

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