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Yatadera Temple in Nara

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Yata Temple

About Jizo-bosatsu and Hydrangea

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Jizo-bosatsu came to this world to save people and stayed 5,670,000,000 years, after the death of Shakyamuni-Buddha until the appearence of Miroku-bosatsu.

The many petals of the hydrangea, with the variety of colours, reflect the metamorphosis of Jizo-bosatsu (It is said that Jizo-bosatsu changes his figure to save peovle. ) and the transience of human life.


Yatasan- Kongosenji temple is situated at the center of Yata hill, neighbored by the village of Ikaruga. Enmei-jizo-busatsu ( Ksitigarbha-bodhisattva ), the oldest one in Japan, is placed there.

About 1300 years ago, Cama-no-miko, who became the Emperor Tenmu afterward, went up Yata hill to pray for victory. In the 4th year of Hakuho (676), Chitsu-sojo ( priest ), ordered by the Emperor, build 7 buildings of the temple and 48 residence for priests, and placed Juichimen-kanzeon-bosatsu ( Avalokitesvava-bodhisattva with 11 faces ) and Kissho-tennyo ( glorious celestial nymph ). It was the beginning of the temple.

This temple is popular by the name ' Yarta-dera ' temple, because the district has been called ' Yata-no-sato ' village since the period of Mannyo ( 6 A.D. ). In documents of Nara era ( 8 A.D. ), already, the name ' Yata-dera ' is found.

After the establishment, since the placement of Jizo-bosatsu ( Ksitigarbha-bodhisattva ) by Manmai-shonin and Onono=Takamura in Konin years ( 810~823 ) of early Heian period, this temple has been flouishing as the center of Jizo worship. At the end of the medieval times ( late 16 A.D. ), buildings of the temple were burnt down by the attack of Matsunaga = Hisahide. The temple has been recovered afterward by the reconstruction of Hondo ( main building ), which is one of the largest in Nara prefecture, and other buildings. It has also many other Buddhist cultural properties.

At the back of the temple, on Yata hill, there are 88 stone images of Buddha representing 88 spiriturl spots in Shikoku Island ( one of four Japanese Islands ). There are many who visit those images of Buddha and also enjoy hiking.

In the present Yata-dera temple, there are four priests' residences --- Daimondo, Nenbutsuin, Kitasobo, and Minamisobo --- for religious practice and accommodations.


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