Chromatic Outlook : Chion-In Sanmon With Captivating Story

Chromatic Outlook (Post#55) : Chion-In Sanmon With Captivating Story

Photos of the day are all about Sanmon or Main Gate of Chion-In Temple. I featured this gate because it is one of the largest gates still existing across Japan. This is not merely a gate to a temple, based on their official website, it houses the Shiraki-no-hitsugi (the Plain wood coffins), one of Chion-In’s Temple Seven Wonders.

(Plainwood Coffin: A Symbol of Nonattachment to One’s Life and Body)

At the top of the Sanmon (Main Gate), lie the Plain wood coffins of Gomi Kin’uemon and his wife, who were ordered by the Tokugawa shogun to construct the Sanmon. It is said that they carved wooden statues of themselves, poured all of their energy into building the Sanmon, then committed suicide once the gate was completed. To this day, people weep at the sight of these statues.

–Chion-In Temple Official Website

As I wondered the reason behind of killing themselves directed me to The Kyoto Project website which helped me to understand about it. The site said that :

There is also a coffin constructed of plain wood, Shiraki-no-kan, beneath the statue, which symbolizes the burial place for Gomi Kinuemon and his wife, who killed themselves by the sword to take responsibility of the soaring costs of building such an enormous gate. Unfortunately, you can’t see the coffin from outside, though. Sanmon express three (San) things, emptiness, innocence, and selflessness. If you pass through the gate, it is said that you are on the path to Jodo (Land of the Pure).

–The Kyoto Project

These photos are part of First Kyoto Tour last September 2015.



Notes :
Photo : Main Gate, Sanmon, Chion-In Main Gate, Chion-In Sanmon
Location : 400 Rinkacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-8686, Japan
Directions / Transportation :
1. Take Raku Bus #100 from Kyoto Station that goes to Higashiyama Area, then get off at Gion Bus Stop or
2. Take bus #12, 46, 201, 202, 203 or 206
3. Visit the official access link to reach the temple here.
Official Website : Chion-In Temple