花咲きて 実はならねども 長き日に 思ほゆるかも 山吹の花 -author unknown-
(Double petaled) yamabuki bears no fruits but only flowers
still I'm waiting long for the flower to bloomso is my love.
There is a color called “yamabuki-iro” in Japanese, it would be golden yellow in English. At Hannya-ji Temple, spring is yamabuki yellow.
Hannya-ji is located at the top of Nara-zaka (Nara slope), a part of the old highway connecting Kyoto and Nara, and is to the north of the Todaiji Temple. Due to its position of "kimon (demon's gate)", the quarter lying to the northeast of the capital of Nara, Emperor Shomu dedicated “般若波羅蜜多心經/Hannya-kyo", or The Heart Sutra, written by himself to the pagoda's stylobate: this is thought to be the origin of the name of the temple. It is a small temple different from the vast and pompous looking of Todai-ji or Kofuku-ji.
Stone Buddhist images queue up in the garden. Flowers play around the stone images from season to season. Hannya-ji is also called “Cosmos Temple” for the abundant of cosmos in October.
Let's have a stroll in the precinct to see the profusion of yellow blooms.
The garden is seemingly untamed, which gives me warm, familiar feel.
The roof tiles are shining silver.
Temple precinct is unpaved. On a rainy day the path is muddy.
Hannya-ji is said to have been founded by priest 慧灌 (Ekan) from Kokuri/Korea in 629 (Asuka Period). It was burnt down to ashes in 南都焼討 (an incident that the Taira clan army led by Taira no Shigehira set fire to Buddhist temples in Nara such as Todai-ji and Kofuku-ji by the order of Taira no Kiyomori in 1181) and became a dilapidated temple. In Kamakura Period (1192-1333), the temple rose like a phoenix. Thirteen-story Stone Pagoda, the symbol of the temple, was built by the monk 良恵 (Ryoe) and completed till around 1253. Afterwards, the main image and the Main Hall were reconstructed by 叡尊 (Eison) of Saidai-ji Temple, who is known as a founder of Shingon Ritsusyu sect of Buddhism. He gave relief to the poor and the ill. In 1490 and 1567, main structures were again burnt down, and besides, the temple was terribly damaged by the anti-Buddhist movement in the early Meiji period (1868-1912) that led to the destruction of Buddhist temples and images.
After the WWII, priests have made the utmost efforts to keep it standing. The temple has prospered as a study temple of the Heart Sutra.
|Splash of yamabuki yellow!|
Though many visitors and large sightseeing buses rush to the temple during cosmos flowers season, people were sparse in the morning precint despite Golden Week.
My mother left hospital on Wednesday and is at home with my brother's family. She was cured for the infection but still has health problems. Fortunately she is not suffering so far though she tends to suffer in silence. I hope she will live in peace with self-management, medication, and love of family as long as possible, just like a cracked teacup can last long when treated carefully and gently.