Japanese Language Blog

Historic Monuments and Sites of Hiraizumi Posted by on Aug 15, 2011 in Culture

This year several historic monuments and sites of Hiraizumi were declared World Heritage Sites in Japan. One of the sites chosen as a World Heritage site was Chūsonji (中尊寺) of Chūson Temple. One of the best rooms of the the Chūson Temple is the Konjikidō (金色堂), which means ‘Golden Hall’ in English. The Golden Hall contains the mummified bodies of the leaders of the Ōshū Fujiwarashi (奥州藤原氏) or Northern Fujiwara Clan. The Northern Fujiwara Clan was a noble family that used to rule areas of northeastern Japan.

Kinkeizan (金鶏山) or Kinkei Mountain is a name of a mountain used for sutra burials. The Kinkeizan is considered a sacred mountain. It is also considered a historic site because the remains of Zaō Gongen (蔵王権現) were discovered. Zaō Gongen was the name of a deity.

Yanagi no Gosho (柳之御所遺跡) was formerly believed to be a castle. Excavations of the area revealed that there was a moat and a garden with a lake. Now, there is very little of the castle that remains, but the foundations of the castle can still be seen.

Kanjizaiōin (観自在王院跡) was part of the temple grounds and was considered a form of paradise on earth. The site can be traced back to the 12th century. At its height, it was a garden with a running stream littered with pebbles. Records show that it had an artificial pond shaped into that of an island with a waterfall.

Muryōkōin (無量光院跡) also used to be a lovely garden from the 12th century. Like the gardens of Muryōkōin and other temples in the area, it was the patronage of the Fujiwara Clan that was responsible for the flourishing of such gardens. These sites like the Muryōkōin are really the lasting legacies of the Northern Fujiwara Clan.

Mōtsūji (毛越寺) has not lost any of its beauty since the 12th century. The gardens of Mōtsūji still retain their original stone paved gardens with ornamental rocks that serve to mimic islands and peninsulas.


Keep learning Japanese with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it