In the Gardens of the Eleven Headed Kannon

The Buddhist Channel, 17 June 2023

Kamakura,Japan -- Hase-dera, also known as Hase Kannon (Chinese: Kuan yin or Avalokitesvara) Temple, is a renowned Buddhist temple located in Kamakura, Japan. It is known for several notable features and attractions, making it a popular destination for visitors. Here are some special aspects of Hase-dera which makes it one of the "must visit" destination to Kamakura apart from the Big Buddha.


The Kannon Statue

The temple is famous for its large wooden statue of Kannon, the goddess of mercy. The statue stands at a height of around nine meters and is considered one of the largest wooden sculptures in Japan. The Eleven-Headed Kannon holds a rich legacy of bestowing miraculous blessings. Despite its reputation, this divine carving has encountered a tumultuous past. Since its creation in 727, the image has suffered the misfortune of being engulfed in flames three times before succumbing to another devastating fire in 1219.

History and Cultural Significance

Hase-dera has a long history dating back to the 8th century and is one of the oldest temples in Kamakura. According to legend, the temple's origins date back to the Tenpyō era (729-749). Nevertheless, temple records indicate that its true flourishing took place in the Kamakura period (1192-1333). It has survived numerous fires and wars over the centuries and stands as a symbol of Japanese Buddhist culture and heritage.

The Cave and Benten-kutsu

Hase-dera Temple boasts a captivating cave known as "Benten-kutsu," brimming with a multitude of petite Buddhist statues. Embarking on an exploration of this cave promises a distinctive and enchanting experience, where one can unearth various concealed treasures concealed within its depths. According to historical accounts, it is believed that Kobo Daishi utilized the Benten-Kutsu cave during his seclusion in the 9th century and personally carved the small statue of Benzaiten with eight arms, which now resides in the adjacent Benten-do Hall.

Benzaiten, a Japanese Buddhist Bodhisattva, made her way to Japan between the 6th and 8th centuries. Her presence is mentioned in the revered Lotus Sutra and she is frequently depicted holding a traditional Japanese lute or mandolin. In addition to her Buddhist significance, Benzaiten also holds the role of a Shinto deity, presiding over all that flowsóbe it words, music, water, or the vast realm of knowledge.

Enchanting Garden

The temple's enchanting allure extends beyond its mystical caves, as it is enveloped by resplendent gardens that transform with the changing seasons. Within the temple grounds, visitors can delight in the sight of a diverse array of flowers, such as the blossoming cherry trees during spring and the vibrant hydrangeas (ajisai) that grace the landscape in early summer. These meticulously tended gardens provide an idyllic and picturesque backdrop, offering a serene sanctuary for all who venture there. Access to the gardens is granted at a nominal fee of 500 yen, and a group visitation system is in place to manage the influx of visitors. It is important to note that due to its popularity, there may be a considerable wait time of up to an hour and a half before entering the gardens.

Jizo Statues

Among the notable features of Hase-dera Temple are its extensive collection of Jizo statues. These diminutive stone figures embody the spirit of the Bodhisattva Jizo and hold great significance. Revered as protectors of the souls of deceased children, these statues bring solace and comfort to grieving parents, serving as a symbol of compassion and care in times of loss.

Spectacular Hilltop Views

The temple is situated on a hillside overlooking the city of Kamakura and offers panoramic views of the surrounding area, including Sagami Bay. Visitors can climb a series of stairs to reach a viewpoint that provides a breathtaking vista.

These distinctive features, along with its rich history and cultural significance, make Hase-dera a special and popular Buddhist tourism destination for locals and foreign visitors alike.

Getting there:

Hase-dera is easily accessible by public transportation.†From Tokyo, take the JR Yokosuka Line to Kamakura.†From there, transfer to the Enoden Line and head to Hase Station. Hase-dera is a five-minute walk from there.†

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
NORBU!
(Neural Operator for Responsible Buddhist Understanding)



For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.


Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.



For Malaysians and Singaporeans, please make your donation to the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team


Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv


TOP