This article is about a World Heritage Site

Historic Monuments and Sites of Hiraizumi

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Hiraizumi – Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land *
The pure land garden of Motsu-ji temple
The "pure land" garden of Mōtsū-ji
Country Japan
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, vi
Reference 1277
Region ** Asia-Pacific
Inscription history
Inscription 2011[1] (35th Session)

Historic Monuments and Sites of Hiraizumi is the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Hiraizumi in Iwate Prefecture, Japan.[2]

The site covers 5 locations. Four of these places are Buddhist temples. The sacred Mount Kinkeisan is also included in the group The properties and their buffer zones are covered by a range of Japanese government protections as historic sites and places of scenic beauty.[2]

History[change | change source]

Hiraizumi was an important political, military, commercial, and cultural centre from the late-11th century until the late 12th-century. This time was marked by the building and endowment of Buddhist temples, art and gardens.[3]

Pure Land Buddhism developed a concept of planning and garden design that was unique to Japan.[2]

The four Pure Land gardens of Hiraizumi show the ideals of Pure Land Buddhism. The gardens also show Japanese concepts about the relationship between gardens, water and the surrounding landscape.[2]

The four gardens were developed by the Ōshū Fujiwara clan. The poet Matsuo Bashō was inspired by this Fujiwara legacy.[4] In 1689, Bashō wrote: "Three generations of glory vanished in the space of a dream ...."[5]

In 2011, UNESCO listed parts of Hiraizumi as a World Heritage Site.[2]

Locations[change | change source]

Name Image Location Notes
Chūson-ji (中尊寺) Chuson-ji Hondo 02.JPG Hiraizumi cultural site
Mōtsū-ji (毛越寺) Oizumi Pond Motsuji Hiraizumi 2007-01-27.jpg Hiraizumi cultural site
Kanjizaiō-in (観自在王院跡) Kanzizaiouin garden HIRAIZUMI.JPG Hiraizumi cultural site
Muryōkō-in (無量光院跡) Muryokoin ruins Hiraizumi 2007-01-27.jpg Hiraizumi cultural site
Mount Kinkeisan (金鶏山, Kinkeizan) Mount Kinkeisan.JPG Hiraizumi natural site

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Hiraizumi Tourism Asociation". Hiraizumi Tourism Asociation. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 UNESCO, "Hiraizumi – Temples, Gardens and Archaeological Sites Representing the Buddhist Pure Land"; retrieved 2012-4-22.
  3. Yiengpruksawan, Mimi Hall. (1998). Hiraizumi: Buddhist Art and Regional Politics in Twelfth-Century Japan,p. 186.
  4. Miner, Earl (1969). Japanese Poetic Diaries, p. 176.
  5. Keene, Donald. (1999). Travelers of a hundred ages, p. 315.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Hiraizumi, Iwate at Wikimedia Commons

Coordinates: 39°00′04″N 141°06′28″E / 39.00111°N 141.10778°E / 39.00111; 141.10778