Nagano City (Nagano-shi)
Nagano City, located in the northern region of Nagano Prefecture is the latter's capital.
It had emerged as a temple town of Zenko-ji, and developed as a post town of Kitaguni road
during Edo Period . It is rather a consumer town but recently electric and
textile industries have appeared. On the country side,
the vegetable and apple cultures are prosperous. During Nagano Olympic games of 1998,
the opening ceremony as well as skating competitions took place there.
Zenkou-ji is one of the oldest and the most prestigious Buddhist temples in Japan.
During the reign of Emperor Kinmei in 538, the kingdom of Paekche (a part of the actual Korean Peninsula) offered to Japan
a statue of Buddha, also called Amida-nyorai.
Afterwards, when a dispute between the anti and pro Buddhism clans broke out,
it was thrown away in a river of Osaka. According to a legend,
when an inhabitant of Nagano, Honda Yoshimitsu, passed near by,
he would have been stopped by an appeal of the statue
which incited him to bring it to his home in Nagano in 602.
That statue has become "Hibutsu" since 654, that is,
the public is forbidden to see it and instead allowed to see only its copy "Zenritsu-honzon"
each 7 years. The event to open the statue to the public view is called "Gokaitchyo"
and the year 1997 corresponding to that moment,
about 5 million believers visited Zenkou-ji temple.
During 1998 Wintier Olympics, that temple becomes the headquarters of CBS.
Photo Copyright, Miyashita Shigemi
Last update: October 11, 2007
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