黄檗山萬福寺Obaku-san Manpuku-ji, or just 萬福寺Manpuku-ji Temple, is the head temple of the Japanese Obaku Zen Buddhist sect located in 宇治Uji, Kyoto; it’s named after Wangfu Temple on Mount Huangbo in Fujian, China. The Japanese Obaku Zen sect was founded by Chinese Buddhist monk, poet and calligrapher, 隠元隆琦Ingen Ryuki (Yinyuan Longqi in Chinese), and his disciple, 木庵性瑫Mokuan Shoto (Muyan in Chinese); the temple was founded in 1661. The temple’s abbots were Chinese monks until the mid-江戸時代Edo Period, so many rituals and manners are still according to Chinese style, as well as the temple structures and arrangement of buildings being of Ming-Dynasty style, giving the temple a feel different from most Japanese temples; many of the buildings are 重要文化財Juuyou Bunkazai (Important Cultural Properties). 普茶料理fucha ryouri (Chinese-style vegetarian cuisine) brought from China by the founder is available upon reservation three days in advance starting from a party of two; there is also an obento option okay for one and sometimes reservable even the day of one’s visit…座禅zazen or transcription sutras are part of the Zen experience as well.
In mid-January 2009, Mr. Man took me by car to Manpuku-ji Temple, one of the temples of the 都七福神めぐりMiyako Shichifukujin Meguri (Miyako Seven Lucky Gods Tour) in which we participated that year…it was a longer trip but definitely worth it on this nippy but beautiful winter day. We didn’t go through the whole area but we did cover a lot of ground, especially the main part.
the 総門soumon, or main gate
the area upon entering…the layout of the temple grounds is supposed to resemble a dragon and these diamond-shaped stones represent the scales of the spine of the dragon. Unfortunately, I didn’t know at the time that only the highest person in the temple can step on these stones.
the 放生池Houjou-ike, the pond near the entrance
the 三問sanmon (large triple gate)
found by the sanmon
the 文華殿Munkadon (the treasure hall)
going up to the 天王殿Tennouden, the “Heavenly King’s hall”, which is seen as an entrance for a temple in China
the statue of 布袋Hotei, the god of abundance and health
looking back at the sanmon
looking down at the wash basin in front of the Tennouden
the 斎堂saidou where the monks have their meals…that’s the bronze 雲版unban (literally “cloud plate”) which is rang for meal times…one of the noted examples of the original 魚梆gyoban in Japan is up ahead.
A gyoban is a fish board used to toll the hours for events and ceremonies.
where one can have fucha ryori
daruma o-mikuji, fortune slips in the shape of Bodhidharma
emas, especially with Hotei drawn on them
双鶴亭Soukakutei named so after the founder saw two cranes alight in the spot
at the 大雄寶殿Daiouhouden, the main hall
the temple’s main statue, a seated Gautama Buddha
Statues of the 十八羅漢像Juu-hachi Rakan, or the 18 arhats, the original followers of Buddha, line the sides inside the Daiouhouden.
the 法堂hatto, the lecture hall
合山鐘Gassanshou brought from China by the founder
looking inside the 開山堂Kaisandou dedicated to the founder
the entrance to 開山堂Kaisandou