Yakushi-ji Temple

  1. In the 9th year of Emperor Tenmu's reign (680), in order to pray for the recovery of his wife (later Empress Jito) from an illness, he began to construct Yakushi-ji Temple. After his death, she continued the work of her husband and completed it in the 11th year of her reign (697). At first, the temple was located in Fujiwara-kyo, the capital at that period, then moved to the actual place with other temples after Nara became the capital in the 3rd year of Wado era (710).
  2. The eastern tower dates from Hakuho period while the western was restored in the 56th year of Showa era. Because each stage having a small ancillary roof (Mokoshi), the tower seems to have 6 stages but 3 stages in reality. The tower body itself has different diameters above and under Mokoshi, for example, a small roof (Mokoshi) above a thick body, then a large roof above a thin body etc. and it makes the tower's aspect very rhythmical.
  3. The main building was restored in 1976. Entering there, you will find in front of you, the main statue of Yakushi Nyorai as well as of the guardians of both sides (National treasure). At beginning, it shone golden but successive fires would have cost them the initial brilliance.
  4. It is worth mentioning a beauty of Yakushi-ji towers' "Suien". Suien has been installed in order to protect towers against thunders or fires and usually it takes geometric figures by imitating water's image. Nevertheless, Yakushi-ji's shows the heavenly beings and maids who are dancing and playing music instruments.
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Last update: 25/10/07