GUIDE TO JIKKO-IN TEMPLE
GYOSAN TAIGENJI OF TENDAI SECT
The Jizo trinity
The Jizo trinity (seated Jizo bosatsu, accompanied by Bishamonten on the right, Fudo-myo-o on the left)
GARAN & ENKAKU
(Building & History）
Jikko-in is a monastery of Shorin-in which used to be the main hall of a subsidiary temple of Gyozan Taigenji.
In 1013, Shorin-in was erected by the monk, Jakugen, the ninth-generatinon disciple of the Tendai monk Ennin (794-864, posthmously named Jikaku Daishi who visited China and introduced shomyo,Buddhist hymns into japan) to desseminate the Tendai sect shomyo. Later cakked Sho-o Daishi) and Ohara came to be looked on as the center og Tendai shomyo with Shorin-in and Raigo-in being the main halls of Gyozan Taigenji. Since Gyozan means Mt. Yu in Ahandong in China where shomyo originated, Ohara is also called Gyozan.
The all successive resident priests of these temples have devoted themselves to the study of shomyo. Jikko-in, originally locatad in the neighboring Ohara Mausoleum (the tombs of Emperors Gotoba and Juntoku), was mobed to the oresent site in 1919.
KYAKUDEN (Guest Hall)
The present building was reconstructed in1921 ; this hall has ramma (the ornamental work in the lintel) featuring poems and portraits of thirty-six Chinese poets painted by the Kamno school in the middle age of the Edo pereod.
Many ancient musical instruments on display at various places as well as at the tokonoma (a recessed alcove in the wall) are the colection of the successive resident priests of Jikko-in for development and study of shomyo.
The Keishin-en in the south of the Guest Hall was designed in the late Edo period. It is chisen (pond and fountain) kansho (viewing) -style garden. The small natural waterfall from the Ritsu river goes down to shinji-ike (ike means pond) that is laid out in the shape of the Chinese letter, kokoro (heart).
Near the waterfall, acombination of rocks called Horai Ishigumi (Horai is mountain in ancient China where holy men are said to have lived) is arranged. A pine tree on the tsukiyama (artificial hill) depicts a tsuru (crane), the island in the pond, a kame (tortoise). There two animals represent longevity and happinessin Japan. On the tsukiyama, there is also a five-storied stone pagoda.
To the west of the Guest Hall lies chisen fo-round style garden. It is landscaped with a gourd-shaped pond in the center and most of the rocks arranged were transferred from the mountains of Jikko-in. Shince the borrowed landscape of Mounts Konpira and Koshio adds the spaciousness to this garden, a fine view from the Guest Hall greets the visitor’s eye.
The teahouse, called Rikaku-an on the west-north corner of the garden features hinoki, a Japanese cypress pillar that is artificially crimpled. The garden is especially noted for fudan^zakura, a rare cherry blossom which is in bloom from the end of September to the spring.
Shomyo, also sometimes called bonbai, are Buddhist hymns intoned in one voice or in chorus by monks at Buddhist ceremonies like Gregorian chant and the Koran.
It is said that both shomyo and Buddhism date back to somewhere B. C. in India. The introduction of shomyo into Japan via China took place in the Nara period (710-784). Since then shomyo have been developed in many Buddhist sects and nowadays, Tendai shomyo and Shingon shomyo are the two mainstreams. Ohara is well-known as the place where the temples have made great efforts to advance Tendai-sect shomyo. Since shomyo influenced a variety of narrative music such as jyoruri, gidayu, nagauta and kiyomoto, these hymns are regarded as the fountainhead of the Japanese music.