If my decision to visit Horyu-ji was influenced by the personality of its founder – Prince Shotoku - , I decided to see Yakushi-ji because this was the most Eastern point on the Silk Road, and I am passionate about the history of this amazing road.
Yakushi-ji is part of the Seven Temples of Nara, true academic centres in which Buddhism was studied. They flourished especially during the period before moving the capital from Nara to Kyoto. These were also centres were Budha's statues were made.
Emperor Temmu built this temple to thank Gods for the recovering of his wife from an illness. So, the main figure of the temple is Yakushi Nyorai, the God of Medicine. His statue, flanked by two Bodhisattvas can be seen in the Kondo, the main hall. Even if at the beginning the statues have been covered with gold leaves, now they are black from the great fire in 1528, which destroyed most of the buildings in the temple. The statue is cast in bronze and has 2.55 m height.
Yakushi Nyorai is sitting on a medicine chest, instead of the traditional lotus flower. There are a lot of borrowed elements sculptured on the chest like grape-vine (Greece), lotus flower (Persia), barbarians standing on the knees (India), the saint animals: the dragon, the phoenix, the tiger, the turtle (China). They not only indicate people who benefited on the Silk Road but also that this was an important communication channel, which conveyed not only merchandises but also beliefs and ideas.
Sai-to, the West Pagoda, burned in the 1528 fire and was reconstructed in 1981. Much to my disappointment, To-to, the East Pagoda, was in reconstruction now, being covered entirely.
Daca la Horyu-ji m-a atras fondatorul ei, la Yakushi-ji m-a atras pasiunea mea pentru Drumul Matasii. Templu este cel mai estic punct pe acest drum, asa ca mi-am zic ca, fie si numai pentru asta, merita sa merg acolo.
Am asteptat la poarta deschiderea templului si am vazut grupuri de elevi care formau o orchestra - dupa cum am vazut mai tarziu -, veniti sa cante cu ocazia unui eveniment.
Cele doua pagode sunt asezate simetric, de o parte si de alta a Salii principale. Pagoda de Vest (Sai-to) a ars la marele incendiu din 1528 si a fost reconstruita in 1981.
Sai-to, Pagoda deVestStatuia este din bronz si masoara 2.55 m inaltime. Initial, aceste statui au fost acoperite cu foita de aur dar focul le-a conferit culoarea neagra actuala. Statuia de aici a lui Yakushi Nyorai se deosebeste de altele, in care este infatisat purtand in mana o cutie cu medicamente, aici fiind asezat pe o lada cu medicamente. Reprezentarea este interesanta in masura in care, incluzand elemente din diverse culturi (vita de vie - Grecia; lotus - Persia; barbarii ingenunchiati - India, animalele sfinte: dragonul, tigrul, phoenixul si testoasa - China), indica si rolul pe care Drumul Matasii l-a avut in schimbul de credinte si idei.
sala principala, Kondo
geta, sandale traditionale pe platforma de lemn, purtate cu kimono si yukata
coridorul acoperit, care inconjoara curtea templului