05/13/2017, 10.38

Jikido Hall of the Nara Yakushi-ji Temple restored to ancient splendor

It was the dining hall of the Buddhist temple devoted to medicine. Destroyed by a fire around the year 1000, it will be opened to the public in July.

Tokyo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The beautiful "Jikido" dining hall has been born again from the ashes and will be soon opened  to the public. It is located in the temple of Yakushi-ji in Nara, the capital of the empire, dedicated to the Buddha of medicine and healing. It is the environment where Buddhist monks go not only to eat but to educate themselves on spiritual practices.

The "Jikido" is believed to have been built during the Nara period and was then destroyed by a fire in 973. Rebuilt in 1005, the room was again destroyed by fire. The new reconstruction began in 2015 and the finished structure is 41 meters for 16, with a height of 14 meters.

The Buddhist painting "Amida sanzon jodozu" is placed in the center of the hall, surrounded by 14 traditional Japanese paintings that describe the history of the Buddhist path from China to Japan as well as the history of the temple. The paintings were made over a period of five years by artist Toshio Tabuchi. A ceremony to celebrate the completion of restoration works will be held between May 26 and 28, while the hall will be open to the public from 1 July until the end of November.

Construction of the Yakushi-ji temple complex in Asuka began in the VII century under Emperor Temmu at the to pray for the healing of the gravely ill Emperor, but the emperor died before the end of the work. Thus, it was inaugurated in 697 by Empress Jito who had survived the illness and ascended the throne. In 710 the Empire's capital was transferred to Nara, and the temple was transported there.

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