Toji-Temple(Kyo-o-gokokuji Temple).

In the 13th year of Enryaku(794) the Emperor Kam-mu transferred the capital of this country from Nara to Kyoto and he built, after the model of Changan, the then capital of China, two huge guardian temples on the east and the west side of the Rajyo-mon which was the south gateway to Kyoto. They are Toji-Temple(East Temple) and Saiji-Temple(West Temple).
About thirty years later the Emperor Saga honoured Kukai(774-835; founder of Shingon Buddhism) with Toji Temple and gave it the official name Kyo-o-gokokuji, which means the temple that guards the capital and the land by virtue of Ninno-gokoku-kyo(the main sutra of the Shingon sect). Kukai made Toji the central seminary of Esoteric Buddhism and added various other buildings to it. It retains its original layout and architectural style and is known as a treasure house of Esoteric Buddhist art, due to its large number of cultural assets brought back from China such as old Buddhist statues, carvings, magnificent paintings, artistic handicrafts, etc.

Buddhas of Toji-Temple.

Yakushi-nyorai(Bhnisajyaguru) Triad in the Kon-do(Main Hall).
Kon-do, Yakushi Triad and Twelve Heavenly Generals

The statues of the Yakushi Trinity (Yakushi-nyorai and his two attendants, Nikko and Gakko Bosatsu) look filled with mercy to heal the sick in body and soul. The statues of the Twelve Sacred Generals placed under the "Mokakeza"(the seat of Nyorai), are said to have been carved by Kosho, the 21st generation sculptor of Buddhist images after Jocho, and are representative masterpieces of the Momoyama period.
Set of twenty-one Buddhist statues installed in the Lecture Hall

Twenty-one Buddhist statues are arranged according to the Mikkyo Mandala described in the main sutra of Esoteric Buddhism, with the principal one, Dainichi-nyorai in the center. The Esoteric Buddhist statues which were brought from China by Kukai can be observed in the Ko-do(Lecture Hall). One characteristic is the special arrangement of the figures in the hall. On the Shumi-dan platform, Tathagatas of the five wisdoms are placed in the center, five Bodhisattvas are on the right side, five Fearful Kings are on the left, and Brahmadeva, Sakrodevanam-indra, and the Four Guardian Kings are arranged around them.
The grouping of the 21 figures is in the formation of the Karman Mandala. Unlike the usual arrangement it self has a meaning in Esoteric Buddhism.

Five-storied Pagoda. *National Treasure, Edo period

The five-storied pagoda is so famous that it remainds all Japanese of Kyoto and Toji. It is the highest pagoda in Japan, measuring 187 feet. It was built by Kobo-daishi in 826 and burned down four times after being struck by lightning. The present pagoda was built by the third Tokugawa Shogun Iemitsu in 1644.
Inside are placed the images of Eour Buddhas and their followers, the eight great Bosatsu.

Kon-do(Main Hall)*National Treasure, Momoyama period.

This building was first erected in 796. It was burnt down in 1486, and reconstructed by Toyotomi Hideyori in 1603.
The double roofed irimoya-style Kon-do is the biggest building in Toji. The raised central part of the lower roof offsets the regularity of the front view of the building. Here the Tenjiku(old Indian) style is introduced into the traditional Japanese architectural style.

Ko-do(Lecture Hall)*Important Cultural Property, Momoyama period.

This building was started by Kukai in 825, and completed in 835.
It was heavily damaged by typhoons and earthquakes, and repaired many times. It was burnt down in 1486, but reconstructed by Toyotomi Kitano-mandokoro during the Keicho period(1595-1615); it retains its original elegant appearance.

(Nishino-in, Daishi-do)

*National Treasure, Muromachi period

Kukai(the founder of Shingon Buddhism) lived in this hall. It is also called Fudo-do, because Kukai used to pray to the Fudo-Myo-o(Secret Buddha, a national treasure) for all people every day. This hall was burnt down in 1379, and was rebuilt the following year. 10 years later, a statue of Kukai was installed.
On the 21st of every month (the day of Kobo-Daishi, Kukai's posthumous title), no less than three hundred thousand pilgrims visit here to worship before the image of Kobo-daishi in the Miei-do(Founder's Hall). The hall on the north side is irimoya-style, the center gate is kirizuma-style, and the gentle slope of the roof is hiwada-buki style. They are very graceful.

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