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Wanfo Temple

Wanfo Temple is located at Yuxi Town, Fuqing County, Fujian Province. As a prestigious Buddhist monastery of Buddhism's Chan Sect (Zen) in China as well as the birthplace of Buddhism's Huangbo Sect in Japan, Wanfo Temple has a long glorious history and has produced generations of elite monks. Therefore, it is in a very significant position in the history of Sino-Japan Buddhist culture exchanges. In 1983, Wanfo Temple was designated as one of national key temples in the areas of the Han nationality.

Wanfo Temple was built in the fifth year (789) of the Zhenyuan reign of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Legend has it that the temple houses ten thousand figures of Buddha, hence the name Wanfo (ten thousand figures of Buddha). Wanfo Temple became prosperous in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), but became gradually decadent in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Fortunately, it was revived in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Wanfo Temple's buildings have distinctive features and are well known as typical temple buildings of the Chan Sect. Buildings on both sides were designed in two rows. The Temple Gate, the Heavenly King Hall, the Main Hall (Hall of Sakyamuni), and the Buddha-worshipping Hall are arranged longitudinally on its axis, and a number of buildings stand on the left and right sides symmetrically. Inside the Heavenly King Hall is a sitting Maitreya Buddha statue, and Main Hall houses eighteen vivid arhat statues with rich facial expressions.

In the 11th year (1654) of the Shunzhi reign of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Yinyuan, a Chinese Zen monk, at the request of Japan's Buddhism circle, led a large number of disciples to cross the sea to Japan and finally arrived in Nagasaki, where he founded Huangbo Mountain Wanfo Temple afterwards. The scale of buildings and rituals of Wanfo Temple in Japan totally follow the pattern of Wanfo Temple in Fuqing City, and it has been well preserved till now. In order to commemorate Yinyuan's contributions, personages of Japan's religious circle built Yinyuan Memorial Hall in 1994 on one side of Wanfo Temple on Huangbo Mountain in China, which again pushed forward the Sino-Japan cultural exchanges.


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