Learn about Daihouji

History of Daihouji

During the Asuka prediod(AD538-710) Gokishichido(five provinces and seven circuits) was organized as poart of legal and government system. Tosando(eastern mountain circuit)  is one of Gokishichido and consisted of some provinces in the central mountain of northern Japan. Main road running through Tosando  was also called Tosando-road. Tosando-road had Umaya(station for horse) in each 16 km. Urano was one of Umaya and located in the center of Shinano(Nagano prefecture). Daihouji-temple is thought to be established as temple for Urano Umaya.

 

Since Urano Umaya was set, the area around Daihouji-temple prospered as military important place, because many horses were grown. Daihouji-temple got the center of Buddhist belief for people in the area and they presented many cultural properties such as Three-storied-pagoda to Daihouji-temple.

Daihouji on January 1st.
Daihouji on January 1st.

Three story pagoda

The origin of Pagoda was Stupa in ancient India. Stupa was used as commemorative monument and sacred relics could be kept safe and venerated in Stupa. The architectural structure of Stupa spread across Asia from India. Especially pagoda architecture blended Chinese towers spread into Japan.

 

Three story pagoda in Daihoj-templei was built in 1333. It is thought that some of powerful samurai donated this pagoda as symbol of tombs. The head carpenter, who was invited from Tennouji-temple in Osaka built this pagoda on the cutting edge at that time in perfect Japanese architectural style. This pagoda uses no nail and is roofed with Japanese-cypress-bark singles. Kaerumata(wooden supports for roof) and distinctive lattice patterns also preserve pure Japanese style.

Daihouji three story pagoda in spring.
Daihouji three story pagoda in spring.

Impressions