J-BOND Team Trip - 9th day in Jana (1)

May 18, 2015


The team went to see KIYOMIZU-DERA, which is the number 1 sightseeing place in Kyoto for foreign tourists.  Today I would like to talk a little about Japanese old saying related to Kiyomizu-dera.   


Kiyomizu-Dera is a historic temple that was established in the year of 778, even before Kyoto became the capital of Japan. Since its foundation, the temple has burned down many times.  The current buildings were rebuilt by the third Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu in the early Edo period (1631 to 1633). 

The Main Hall (Hondo) of the temple is designated as a national treasure. In 1994, it was registered on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List as one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto.

Kiyomizu Stage was built using a special method; huge 12-meter high pillars were assembled without using any nail and the floor was installed using more than 410 cypress boards. 


In the early EDO period, a policeman was encountering with some gang groups at Kiyomizu-Dera.  Due to many gang members at enemy side, the policeman had no choice but to take a plunge from the high stage of Kiyomizu-Dera. Fortunately he managed to escape from the gang group.   After hearing this story in Kyoto, many people tried to take the plunge from the high stage of Kiyomizu-Dera, when they believed they can get away from their actual annoyances or worries in the life.    It was really a dangerous attempt and some of people who tried to take the plunge had actually died on spot, however, many people had not yet stopped their attempt.  On one day in EDO period, Tokugawa Shogun government had to announce the ban for "Plunge-Attempt" from Kiyomizu-Dera.



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