Main Hall 本堂
The main hall was originally built in 733 and reconstructed in 1919 after the destruction by the configurations of 1646 and 1865 in the Edo period.
The origin of the name of this temple “Jindaiji” was from the “God of water”(“Jinjadaio”).
He protected a Chinese monk who sought for “Holy scripture of Buddhism” in India, during the monk’s journey.
This journey was written in the classic Chinese literature, “Journey to the West”in 16th century.
Jindaiji is a historic temple in Tokyo that exists from ancient time besides “Sensoji” Temple in Asakusa.
The original architecture of the main hall was the thatched roof structure (1).
After the reconstruction the mail hall, the Sangawara(clay) tiles (2) were used. Now it is a style of metal (copper) plate roofing.
(1) The Thatched roof:
It is the craft of building a roof with dry plants layering the plants so as to shed water away from the inner roof. It is a very old roofing method.
(2) Sangawara tiles:
It is a traditional Japanese style of tiled roof and the tiles are made out of clays.
It has developed from the tiled arranging a combination of alternating flat tiles and concave roof tile.
The center of the main hall is designed Kohai (a roof built over the steps leading up to a temple building) (3) in the Kara style (4).
It is a porch where visitors face toward the main hall and worship in a Japanese Shinto shrine.
(4) Kara style:
It is a type of gable with a style peculiar in Japan.
The characteristic shape is the undulating curve at the top.
This gable is common in traditional architecture, including Japanese castles, Buddhist temples, and Shinto shrines.
These designs of the main hall represent the typical Edo period style:
・The image of “Lion & Elephant” is carved on the beam
・The image of “Dragon” is on part of the roof
・The “Phoenix” image is carved into the roof
The statues of Amida-sanzon(5)(the set of three Buddhist statues) that is the principal image of this temple was enshrined in the main hall.
One of the styles in Buddhism for enshrines the Buddhist statues.
The three statues, “Amidanyorai” and his two attendants, “Kanseon-bosatsu” (left) and “Seishi-bosatsu”(right) is called “Amida-sanzon”.
“Kanseon-bosatsu” and “Seishi-bosatsu” are the incarnation of “Amidanyorai” and that represents the “mercy” and the “wisdom”.