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”Byodoin” Heian Period Villa Turned Buddhist Temple

Heian Period Villa Turned Buddhist Temple

116 Ujirenge Uji, Kyoto Prefecture

Established in the age of Latter days of law ideology

Byodoin is located in Uji, a part of Kyoto where many nobles of the Heian period built their resort villas. In fact Byodoin itself was once a villa owned by Fujiwara Michinaga when he seized power as the Imperial regency and referred to it as Ujidono. His son Yorimichi later remodeled it as a temple after the death of his father and named it Byodoin. (the end of days) Mappo Ideology was the trend of the times, which was belief that after 2000 years of the passing of Buddha, the world will be in turmoil, full of disasters, causes both natural and man-made. Byodoin was created in 1052, which was said to be the first year of this Mappo ideology trend. In the following year the Amidado (current Hooudo) was built, revering the Amida nyorai (Amitabha Tathagata), said to be the founder of purgatory. With thus social background, Byodoin flourished with loyal worshippers from the nobles and common people.

Collection of Numerous National Treasures

During this time, Kyoto was undergoing a temple construction boom and many temples were built such as Hojoji and Hosshoji. The majority of the temples that had been built then had disappeared, leaving only Byodoin Hooudo still in existence in the present. The building itself is obviously invaluable, however there are other numerous numbers of national treasures such as Buddhist sculptures stored in the temple. In 2001 the Byodoin Museum Hoshoukan was opened to take the place of their deteriorated Homotsukan to collect, store and display their invaluable pieces of art.


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