Kondo (Golden Hall) in Fudoin Temple
Fudoin is an old temple located on the east bank of the Ota River. It was
originally built as Ankokuji Temple in Aki Province. It is likely, however, that
a large temple existed at the site even before the construction of Ankokuji
Temple. The Shogun Takauji Ashikaga had Ankokuji Temples built in each of
the provinces, paying tribute to the soldiers killed in battles.
The most notable structure at Fudoin Temple is the kondo, the largest
remaining construction in the medieval Kara style in Japan. It boasts beams
spanning 7.3 meters and 5.5meters, and irimoya (a combination of gable and hip
roof) with mokoshi (an extra roof).
Celestial maidens and a dragon are painted on the ceiling of the kondo, and
the dedication in Chinese ink hints that Fudoin was built around 1540. The
kondo is the only designated national treasure in Hiroshima City today. The
temple is dedicated to the Yakushi Buddha sitting statue. This statue, the
belfry and the tower gate are designated important cultural properties of Japan.
The statue was carved by the renowned sculptor Jocho, who was a pioneer of
Japanese sculpture in the early 11th century.
It is believed that the kondo was originally built in Suo Province by Yoshitaka
Ouchi and was moved to the present site by the priest Ekei Ankokuji.
After the death of Ekei, Yuchin converted the Zen sect into the Shingon sect
and changed the name of Ankokuji to Fudoin.
The kondo of Fudoin Temple is the only designated national treasure in Hiroshima City (Photograph taken circa 1994)
Kara style architecture originally came from south China in the Kamakura era with Zen Buddhism.Gradually, the style was applied to other structures. In fact, some of its details were adopted into Japanese style architecture.