Tōganji and Nagoya Daibutsu

(English below.) Zenový chrám Tógandži 桃巌寺: opravdu zajímavé místo blízko kampusu Nagojské univerzity. – Omlouvám se za zkrácení oproti anglické verzi, užijte si fotografie! PS: Rád bych sem napsal spoustu věcí – mám různé poznámky a rozepsané články (mj. další aikidistické zážitky), ale méně času, než bych si přál. Snad brzy!

The zen temple Tōganji 桃巌寺 is an extremely interesting place very close to Nagoya University main campus. It was built by Oda Nobuyuki in mid-16th century (Warring states period in Japan, Nobuyiki was younger brother of the famous Oda Nobunaga), and moved to the present location in 1714.1 At the same time, it is a shrine for Benzaiten (the Hindu goddess Saraswatī). While this is a Shintō shrine, you can see a lot of Hindu influence. I would say it mixes rather well and the whole place has a great, calm, kind of half-forgotten atmosphere. If you want to learn more, I recommend the page about Tōganji at the wonderful Kikuko’s Nagoya web site (there are also some more pictures). A giant 1980s Buddha with a suite of rather smallish humans and elephants also happens to sit right next to the temple.

  1. This actually happens a lot with Japanese temples and shrines as they are mostly wooden structures, which need to be rebuilt from time to time anyway. So, technically speaking, usually most of what you see is not the original thing. But doesn’t it fit rather nicely into the nature of both Buddhism and Shintō?