Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Kosan-Ji temple on Ikuchijima is probably the most unique and unusual temple in Japan.
The temple complex is composed of many "copies" of the most famous examples of temple architecture from throughout Japan.
They are built at a slightly reduced scale from the originals, but have been "improved" and embellished with intricate carvings and color schemes that bear no connection to the originals.
Gaudy is certainly a word that could be applied, and perhaps Kitsch, though there is no concept of kitsch in Japan.
Thye temple officially belongs to the True Pure Land sect, but actually has no congregation. It was built by Kanemoto Kozo for his dead mother, to ensure her passage to paradise.
A large chunk of his fortune has gone into the building of Kosan-Ji, but with an entrance fee of 1,500 yen times the millions of visitors the temple has received over the years, it is probably making a profit now.