• Akiko Murakami

Yakushi-ji temple restored thanks to the "Copying the Heart Sutra" campaign

Yakushiji Temple is one of the oldest temples in Japan dedicated to the Yakushi (Healing) Buddha. The bronze Buddhist statues in this temple are masterpieces and sooooooo beautiful !!! Thinking of the difficulties of keeping thing the same as long as about 1300 years, we are so fortunate that we can still appreciate the original statues from ancient times.



The original temple was located in Fujiwara-kyo (present Kashihara City), a former capital before Heijokyo Palace in Nara. In 680, Emperor Tenmu, the 40th Emperor, ordered the construction of Yakushi-ji Temple for the recovery o f his Empress and peace for the nation. Although the Empress recovered, the Emperor died before the completion of the temple.

Yakushiji Temple is one of the oldest temples in Japan dedicated to the Yakushi (Healing) Buddha. The bronze Buddhist statues in this temple are masterpieces and sooooooo beautiful !!! Thinking of the difficulties of keeping things the same as long as about 1300 years, we are so fortunate that we can still appreciate the original statues from ancient times.


Temple does not look that old? You are right.

All buildings except the East Pagoda were destroyed by fire and natural disasters several times during the 16th century. Since 1967, the monks have been working on the restoration of the temple's major buildings with the wish and leadership of the late Abbot Koin Takada (1924-1998).

Thanks to their effort and million people's donations,

Kondo (main Hall)

West Pagoda

Chu-mon (Inner Gate)

Kairo (Corridors)

Kodo (Lecture Hall)

have been restored.


The monks intended to maintain the ancient cultures of the people and pass them down from generation to generation.

They encouraged people to take part in the "copying the Heart Sutra" campaign. In Buddhism, it is believed that by reading and copying the sutra, one attains peace of mind while being blessed. Sutra copying is a good way to express your gratitude for your solved problems, health, illness, birthdays, etc.

The copied sutras are being blessed by rituals and later carefully preserved for generations to come in the restored Kon-do, the pagodas, and the Kodo as proof of their devotion to Buddha and the temple.

To this day, to my surprise, more than 8.5 million people have joined in this campaign!

Anyone is welcome to join "copying the Heart Sutra" (called "o-shakyo": 写経)even today.

https://yakushiji.or.jp/en/oshakyo/


Following that sad incident, the Empress succeeded her husband's position as the Emperor and t temple was completed in 698. Shortl after Nara city became the capital of Japan (Heijo-kyo), Yakushi-ji Tmple was moved to the present site. teachings.

Well, grew up in Nara, my destination of school trip during my elementary hood was Hiroshima.



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