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Bruce A. Coats

[Kūtaiji; Kūdaiji; Kubonji]

Buddhist temple and garden near Nara in the Sōraku District, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. It is a temple of the Pure Land (Jōdo) sect of Esoteric Buddhism. The present compound contains a honden (main hall), a pagoda and a pond garden. Alone among Pure Land temples, Jōruriji retains its original 12th-century garden designed to look like the Western Paradise. Temple records indicate that the temple was established in 1047 with the construction of a honden dedicated to Yakushi (Skt Bhaishajyaguru; the Buddha of healing). It was reconstructed in 1107 as a hall for the worship of Amida (Skt Amitabha; Buddha of the Western Paradise) and moved to its present position in 1157.

The Amida Hall (Amidadō) stands on the western side of the pond. It is a wooden post-and-beam structure in the yosemune zukuri (‘hipped-gable roof construction’) format, 11 bays long and 4 bays deep, and is the only extant example of a ...