Powerful "Banryu-zu" in Japan's Oldest Hatto HallSpecial Opening of Shokoku-ji Temple, Kyoto25 September 2016 - Temples/Shrines
On September 25, an autumn special opening began at Shokoku-ji Temple, the head temple of the Rinzai sect Shokoku-ji School of Zen Buddhism, in Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto. "Hatto," Japan's oldest lecture hall designated as an Important Cultural Property, "Kaisando," a hall in which the statue of its founder Muso Kokushi is enshrined, and "Hojo," a head monk's chamber measuring as large as 168 tatami-mats, are included in the public showing, and many people visited from the first day.
The Hatto Hall was rebuilt with contributions from Hideyori Toyotomi in 1605. A 9 meter-in-circumference "Banryu-zu," or Dragon painting, painted by Mitsunobu Kano, is drawn on the 11 meter high ceiling. It is also referred to as "Naki-ryu," or howling dragon, due to the unique echo when people clap their hands under it.
The front garden of the Kaisando Hall which is shown only in autumn is rare because the originally separated front and back Zen gardens are combined. Traces of the waterway which once supplied water to the Imperial Palace also remain in the garden. Visitors spent some moments viewing the peaceful space spread with white sand.
A woman visiting with a friend from Osaka City said, "The glaring eyes of the Banryu-zu in the Hatto Hall made an impression on me. The unique echoing sound reached my heart and creating a mysterious feeling."
It will be open until December 15, though there will be a temporary closure from October 18 to October 21. There is an admission fee.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)