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Thread: Oldest temple in Tokyo ?

  1. #1
    忍心してます! Sharingan's Avatar
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    Oldest temple in Tokyo ?

    I hear that Tokyo was totally destroyed in the Second World War, and temples were rebuilt after. My question is, is there temples that were not destroyed, if so which ones and where are they ?

    Thank you all for replying if you know !

  2. #2
    ケビン Homerduff's Avatar
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    The oldest temple in Tokyo is Senso-ji in Asakusa. It was completed in 645 and it has survived the WWII bombings. If you ever go to Tokyo, visiting Asakusa is a must. I really enjoyed strawling of the Nakamise shopping street (you can buy some great and cheap souvenirs here) which will led you directly to the enormous Senso-ji temple.

  3. #3
    japán vagyok undrentide's Avatar
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    The temple who has the oldest (longest) history in Tokyo is 浅草寺 Senso-ji in Asakusa, which is said to have been founded in 628. But it was also burnt down during the WWII. The present temple was built in 1958.

    http://homepage3.nifty.com/neoncafe/j_bomb_02.html
    Tokyo was air-raided about 130 times during the period from 24th November 1944 till 15th August 1945, including the very big five during March-May 1945. The area within the red line on the map is 23 wards of Tokyo today, and the area marked in orange is the area that were burned to cinders.
    http://www.cc.matsuyama-u.ac.jp/~tam...s/image019.jpg
    http://www.cc.matsuyama-u.ac.jp/~tam...s/image017.jpg
    All the traditional buildings (houses, shrines, temples) are made of wood, and from the photos you can see everything was burned down and only the buildings of concrete survived - or rather, left standing (but surely the inside was burned.)

    And because the old temples are built of wood, there is another factor that destroyed them other than the air-raids during the WWII - fires, battles and earthquakes. And sometimes they were pulled down and rebuilt for expansion.

    I could not find the number of temples in Tokyo, but there must be thousands of them. There must be many temples survived the war, but it is hard to find the oldest "building"...

    If you are happy with just an old, not the oldest, temple (building) in Tokyo, 清水観音堂 Kiyomizu-kan'no-dou of 寛永寺 Kan'ei-ji in Ueno is a good example, it was build in 1963 and is still standing there.
    (Note: A temple usually consists of several buildings and monuments. Most of them in Kan'ei-ji were burned down during the battle at the end of Edo period.)
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    ケビン Homerduff's Avatar
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    Sorry for the misinformation ! And thank you for correction.

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    相変わらず不束者です epigene's Avatar
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    I found a page saying that the oldest wooden structure in Tokyo proper is the Shakado Hall of Enyu-ji Temple in Meguro-ku. It survived the air raids of WWII.

    http://blog.saburai.com/article/13150467.html

  6. #6
    忍心してます! Sharingan's Avatar
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    When was Shakado Hall of Enyu-ji Temple built ? Earlier than 1958 ?

    Was there no temple at all in Tokyo between 1945 and 1958 ?

  7. #7
    相変わらず不束者です epigene's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharingan View Post
    When was Shakado Hall of Enyu-ji Temple built ? Earlier than 1958 ?
    Was there no temple at all in Tokyo between 1945 and 1958 ?
    According to info on the Web, the Shakado Hall was built in the Muromachi Period (1336-1573). It is designated Important Cultural Property.

    The temple itself was founded in the 9th century. There is no info on how many times it had been rebuilt or on whether the temple was standing between 1945 and 1958. It's best to ask the head priest of Enyu-ji.

  8. #8
    Nobuta Power 注入 Dogen Z's Avatar
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    Nezu Jinja

    Nezu Jinja might be the oldest. It was founded over 2,000 years ago by Prince Yamato Takeru, who passed through the swamps of Edo, on his way north to conquer some hostile regions. So it pre-dates Senso ji that was founded in A.D. 628, only some 1400 years ago. The main hall was built in 1706.

  9. #9
    japán vagyok undrentide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ocean Dude View Post
    Nezu Jinja might be the oldest. It was founded over 2,000 years ago by Prince Yamato Takeru, who passed through the swamps of Edo, on his way north to conquer some hostile regions. So it pre-dates Senso ji that was founded in A.D. 628, only some 1400 years ago. The main hall was built in 1706.
    Yes, Nezu Jinja also has a long history and it survived the WWII.
    The main building and other monuments were built in 1706, so they are not the oldest, yet they are indeed one of the very old.

    List of National Treasure and Important Cultural Properties in Tokyo
    http://www.morisawa.org/db_tokyobunkazai.html

  10. #10
    忍心してます! Sharingan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by undrentide View Post
    Yes, Nezu Jinja also has a long history and it survived the WWII.
    The main building and other monuments were built in 1706, so they are not the oldest, yet they are indeed one of the very old.

    List of National Treasure and Important Cultural Properties in Tokyo
    http://www.morisawa.org/db_tokyobunkazai.html
    In your link, does 指定年月日 mean the last date of reconstruction ? If so, the oldest are the two pagodas built in 1911.

  11. #11
    japán vagyok undrentide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharingan View Post
    In your link, does 指定年月日 mean the last date of reconstruction ? If so, the oldest are the two pagodas built in 1911.
    No, 指定年月日 is the date when the building was appointed (?) as the national treasure/important cultural property.
    建築年 is the year when the building was built.

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    Which temple has the mirror of yata?

  13. #13
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    Senso-ji is an oldest temple that is located in Tokyo and much famous among tourists as well as local community. It is also known as temple of the Asakusa Kannon and considers the important place of worship in Japan.

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