Kotoku-in is the more common name for Taiizan Kotoku-in Shojosen-ji in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture. This Jodo-shu Buddhist temple is known for its Daibutsu, or great Buddha, which is one of the most famous icons of Japan.
The statue, commonly known as the Kamakura Daibutsu (Big Buddha of Kamakura), is a colossal copper image of the Amitabha Buddha. The Buddha, which was declared a national treasure by the Japanese government, is about 11.3 meters high and weighs about 121 tons.
The Kotoku-in belongs to the Jodo sect, a traditional Buddhist sect founded by the priest Honen (1133-1212) who was a follower of Amitabha. According to the Jodo sect's belief system, all people are equal and one only has to sing the "Nenbutsu" to receive the protection of Amitabha and to be reborn in one's "pure land".
Kamakura’s Daibutsu is a beautiful bronze statue built in the mid-13th century (750 years ago). He has been meditating under the sky for about 500 years of those years, after losing the shelter he was originally housed in. When you visit, you might see him soaked in rain, or sweating under the glaring sun, or just enjoying the warm spring sunshine. Whenever you come, his expressive face will touch your heart. Kamakura’s Daibutsu has been kept intact, without any large-scale restorations since it was built.Discover Kamakura Daibutsu and Sakura
The temple gate holds a plaque inscribed with Kotoku-in’s official name and houses a pair of Nio (Vajrapani) images inside the gate. Their fearsome faces are the subject of many visitor's photographs. The Nio were imported from another location in the 18th century.
On the inside wall of the corridor to the right facing the Great Buddha rests a pair of huge warazori. The warazori were first woven by children in 1951 with the wish that “the Great Buddha would don them to walk around Japan, bringing happiness to the people.” The Matsuzaka Children’s Club keeps this tradition alive to this day: since 1956, they have continued to make these giant warazori and present them to Kotoku-in once every few years.
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