Ryoan-Ji Temple

[ . BACK to DARUMA Museum TOP . ]

Ryooan-ji 龍安寺 /竜安寺 Ryoan-Ji
"Dragon Peace Temple"

not: Ryuuanji, Ryuan-Ji
Daiunzan 大雲山 "Great Cloud Mountain"

This temple is most famous for its rock garden.
There are 15 rocks, but one is always hidden and you can only see 14 at any given time.
They say these rocks represent the planets in our system.

English HP of the temple
source : www.ryoanji.jp/

fusuma-e 襖絵 screen door paintings of dragons
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Ryōan-ji (Shinjitai: 竜安寺, Kyūjitai: 龍安寺)
The Temple of the Dragon at Peace

is a Zen temple located in northwest Kyoto, Japan. Belonging to the Myoshin-ji school of the Rinzai branch of Zen Buddhism, the temple and karesansui garden is one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The site of the temple was originally a Fujiwara family estate. It eventually came into the hands of the Hosokawa clan branch of the Fujiwaras. Hosokawa Katsumoto inherited the residence, and lived here before the Ōnin War. Katsumoto willed the war-ravaged property to be converted into a Zen sect temple complex after his death. Later Hosokawa emperors are grouped together in what are today known as the "Seven Imperial Tombs" at Ryoan-ji.

The burial places of these emperors -- Uda, Kazan, Ichijō, Go-Suzaku, Go-Reizei, Go-Sanjō, and Horikawa -- would have been comparatively humble in the period after their deaths. These tombs reached their present state as a result of the 19th century restoration of imperial sepulchers (misasagi) which were ordered by Emperor Meiji.

Dry landscape rock garden

To many, the temple's name is synonymous with the temple's famous 'Zen garden', the karesansui (dry landscape) rock garden, thought to have been built in the late 15th century. The garden consists of raked gravel and fifteen moss-covered boulders, which are placed so that, when looking at the garden from any angle (other than from above) only fourteen of the boulders are visible at one time. It is traditionally said that only through attaining enlightenment would one be able to view the fifteenth boulder.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


- quote -
Ryōan-ji is maybe the most famous rock garden of Japan.

Ryōan-ji was built on the grounds of a villa of the Fujiwara clan in the Heian period (794-1185). The deputy of the shogun and warlord Hosokawa Katsumoto bought the estate in 1450 and built his residence on it, together with the temple Ryōan-ji. It was destroyed in the Onin war, but rebuilt in 1488 by Katsumoto's son Matsumoto. It is probable that the garden of the temple was also created at that time, but some scholars argue that it was built earlier by Katsumoto or later, for example, by Zen monk and garden designer Sōami, who also built the dry landscape garden of Daisen-in.

The temple burnt down in 1797, and the garden was recreated later. As a print of the year 1799 shows, the garden today hasn't changed since that time.

Apart from little patches of moss around the stones, this garden has no plants. Behind the mud wall a row of trees create a green backdrop for the garden, making the light gray sand seem even brighter. The design is more complex than it seems at first – for example is it impossible to view all 15 stones at once from any angle of the terrace. The composition is also a fine example for the delicate balance of mass and void and the skillful use of numbers and groups.

- eBook will be delivered as pdf and mobi
- source : www.japanesegardens.jp -


tenugui hand towel 龍安寺 手ぬぐい
with the rock garden pattern

Amulets from Ryoan-Ji

The famous tsukubai water basin in form of a coin with a hole.
吾唯知足 ware tada taru shiru
"I have everything I need."

This basin was offered to the temple by Tokugawa Mitsukuni, the famous Mito Komon.

kootsuu anzen 交通安全お守り(銭型)
traffic safety amulet, in the form of a coin

龍安寺参詣手形 Tegata Mamori amulet

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 


. . . CLICK here for Photos !

I first visited Kyoto’s Ryoanji Temple in the autumn of 1984.
Richard Newton
source : letsjapan.wordpress.com


. Dragon Temples .


No comments: