Sanjusangen-do (Renge-O-in) temple
Rengeo-in temple is commonly known as Sanjusangen-do (a hall with thirty-three spaces between columns) and is administered by Myoho-in temple. The earthquake resistant main hall is a national treasure. In the long main hall (120m long, 22m wide, 16m high) are more then one thousand Buddhist images.
The principal images of the Tendai-shu sect temple are 1001 statues of Juichimen-Senju-Sengen Kanzeon (an eleven-face one thousand-arm one thousand-eye Kan'non). Of those, a three meters high seated figure in the middle of the Buddhist deities was made by a great sculptor Tankei and is a national treasure. Of 1000 human sized standing figures, 124 were made in the 12th century when this temple was founded. The remaining 876 were made in the 13th century when the main hall was rebuilt after the original hall had been burned down. The 1000 Kan'non figures are Important cultural property.
In addition to the principal images, they have 30 more national treasures. Those are the God of Thunder and the God of Wind and 28 guardian deities who protect the Kan'nons and Buddhists who believe in Kan'non.
Rengeo-in was built by Taira no Kiyomori at Emperor Go-Shirakawa's behest in 1164. The temple, including the main hall and five storied pagoda, was reduced to ashes by a great fire in Kyoto in 1249. The main hall was rebuilt in 1266.
600 of the Buddhist images were toppled by the earthquake in 1544. In the year 1588, Toyotomi Hideyoshi built Hoko-ji temple and Rengeo-in was incorporated into the new big temple. After extinction of Toyotomi family, Hoko-ji including Rengeo-in was transferred to Myoho-in temple's administration.
How to get to Sanjusangen-do temple
- Ten minutes by Kyoto City Bus No. 206 or 208 from Kyoto Station to Hakubutsukan-Sanjusangen-do-Mae Bus stop, or
- Three minutes on foot from Keihan railway Shichijo station.
Hours and Admission
Except following: 8:00-17:00
November 16-March 30: 9:00-16:00
Admission ends 30 minutes before closing time.
College students and older: 600 yen
Junior high and high school students: 400 yen
Children younger than the above: 300 yen
- In order to protect the historic and cultural relics, taking pictures is strictly prohibited inside of the main hall.
- Each Kan’non statue is hand-carved, all of them have difference face and facial expression. It is said visitors can find the one of which the face is similar to him or her.
It is said that Toshiya originated in Hogen War (around 1156), when Genta Kabusaka in Kumano shot through the hallway with neya (arrows for actual battle) under the eaves of Sanjusangendo Temple, but it is just a legend because the temple did not exist at that time.
In the beginning, archers fired arrows from the southern end of the veranda to the northern end where a curtain-like ornament was erected as a target. The contest gained popularity during the Edo period and by the late 17th century competitions between participants from the Owari and Kishu provinces were drawing big crowds. The Toshiya would later be used as a motif in stories and film.
In 1861, after 255 years, the Toshiya ceased being held, but a contest based on the Toshiya called Omato National Tournament, or Festival of the Great Target, still continues today, drawing roughly 2,000 participants from throughout Japan.
In January, the temple has an event known as the Rite of the Willow (柳枝のお加持), where worshippers are touched on the head with a sacred willow branch to cure and prevent headaches.
Omato National Tournament
Sanjusangendo Temple is the famous place for a popular archery tournament known as Omato National Tournament. Sanjusangendo Temple is historically the popular place for Toshiya (通し矢) which is held during Edo period. Every year roughly 2,000 young people compete in the tournament, the men in their dark blue hakama, or male kimono, the women in their finest coming of age furisode, a kimono for an unmarried woman. Both men and women must be newly minted adults: in Japan this means 20 years old. The second precondition for participation is that the competitors must have attained the first dan, or belt, in Japanese archery. Archers shoot arrows into targets approximately 50 - 100 centimeters in diameter and 60 meters (198 feet) away at the opposite end of the veranda. The Omato National Tournament is held annually on the second Sunday in January.
The Sanjusangendo Temple Hall
With a total length of 120 meters, the Sanjusangendo Temple Hall serves as the longest wooden building in Japan.
As previously mentioned, the English translation of its name means thirty-three halls, which is derived from the architectural design of the main hall. However, it is wrong to think that the hall consists of thirty-three smaller halls. The number merely represents the intervals between every support column of the hall.
Most structures have elaborate and complex designs on the outside, but this is not the case with Sanjusangendo Temple in Kyoto, Japan. Outside the temple, you will see a very simple and modest deign, as if it is just an ordinary wooden structure. But what makes it a main attraction in Japan is the interior part or the Sanjusangendo Hall.
This austere and simple structure was built a long time ago in 1164 by Goshirakawa, the then emperor of Japan. However, the building has to be reconstructed in 1266 after the original one was completely destroyed by fire. What you can see today is the building that has been reconstructed in 1266.
This is the longest building in Japan that is made of wood, with a length of 394 feet (120 meters). The outside is not so impressive, except for the length. But when you go inside, your eyes should be ready with what you will see. The Sanjusangendo Hall houses 1,001 statues of Kannon, the goddess of mercy in Buddhism.
The focal point s the main statue of Kannon, that stands at 6 feet in height. In Buddhism, Kannon has 1000 arms and 11 faces. Her statue in Sanjusangendo Hall is considered as a National Treasure. The Kannon statues are masterpieces of a well-known sculptor in Japan, Tankei.
The other Kannon statues are life-sized, smaller than the major Kannon statue, and they have 40 arms each. It was said that each arm can save 25 different worlds. It was also believed that the goddess of mercy can transform into a total of 33 different shapes, and the architects of the temple based the number of hall’s pillars on this number, which means the temple also has 33 pillars.
Whether you are a Buddhist or not, you will still be amazed by the rows and rows of Kannon statues inside the longest wooden structure in Japan.
History of Sanjusangendo
Ordered by Emperor Go-Shirakawa, Taira no Kiyomori completed construction of the temple in 1164. Unfortunately, the original building was destroyed in a fire in 1249 and it took until 1266 to rebuild it.
The main statue of a seated Kannon within the hall, the Chuson, was created by the great sculptor Tankei and is a designated National Treasure. Though only 124 of the original statues were saved from the fire of 1249, and the remaining statues were completed in the 13th century.
Highlights and how to get to Sanjusangen-do Temple.
My answer is “Sanjusangen-do Temple” .
The highlight of Sanjusangen-do Temple is 1,001 wooden standing statues of Senju-Kannon which is enshrined into the main hall of a Buddhist temple.
This scenery is beyond a doubt the best part.
Each wooden standing statues of Senju-Kannon have a different face.
Therefore, it is said that there is an image resembling the person who wants to meet by all means.
In addition, Sanjusangen-do Temple is appointed in Michelin green guide ★★★(best rank).
1.About Sanjusangen-do Temple
Admission Fee：Adults 600 yen, High school/junior high student 400 yen, Children 300 yen
Adress：657, Sanjusangendomawaricho, Higashiyama-ku Kyoto-shi, Kyoto, 605-0941, Japan
Sanjūsangen-dō ( 三十三間堂 , lit. thirty-three ken (length) hall) is a Buddhist temple in Higashiyama District of Kyoto, Japan. Officially known as “Rengeō-in” (蓮華王院), or Hall of the Lotus King, Sanjūsangen-dō belongs to and is run by the Myoho-in temple, a part of the Tendai school of Buddhism. The temple name literally means Hall with thirty three spaces between columns, describing the architecture of the long main hall of the temple.
Introduction of Sanjusangen-do Temple. (from a brochure)
The entrance of Sanjusangen-do Temple.
An admission fee is 600 yen (adults).
Because worship time is different by a season, please be careful.
2.Highlight of Sanjusangen-do Temple
Photography and video recording are prohibited in the main hall.
●The main hall of Sanjusangen-do Temple (National treasure)
The main hall was built in 1266. This building is the building which is secondly old wooden building in Rakuhoku of Kyoto.
(The oldest building is the main hall of Daihoon-ji Temple.)
Because there are 33 intervals between pillars in this main hall, it is said to be “Sanjusangen-do Temple”.
The length of this main hall has about 120m. More than 1,000 Buddhist image are enshrined in this main hall.
●Standing Statue of Senju Kannon(Important cultural property) and 28 Attendants of Senju-Kannon(National treasure)
The principal images of Sanjusangen-do Temple are the 1,001 statues of the Buddhist deity. (from a brochure)
This scenery is beyond a doubt the best part…
●Statues of Fujin (wind god) and Raijin (thunder god) (National treasure)
God of Wind and Thunder which are bringing a huge harvest.
This is the powerful and dynamic statue.(○´艸｀)
Because Hideyoshi Toyotomi did oblation, the wall surrounding the precincts is called “太閤塀(Taikohei)”.
The bell tower is also painted with cinnabar red.
This is the Inari Shrine in the backside of the main hall. I can feel syncretization of Shinto with Buddhism. It is really God and Buddha.
Small Buddha is enshrined in Chozusha (building for cleaning hands and rinsing mouth).
3.Goshuin(shrine seal or stamp) of Sanjusangen-do Temple
A character of “大悲殿(Daihiden)” meaning another name of the main hall of a temple dedicated to the Kannon as principal object of worship is written.
4.How to get to Sanjusangen-do Temple
Nearest station of Sanjusangen-do Temple is “Keihan Shichijo station”.
■Keihan Shichijo station→Sanjusangen-do Temple
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Amazing Kyoto- Sanjusangendo Hall
Sanjusengendo hall is the MUST visit spot in Kyoto among many sightseeing destinations.
A large, wooden statue of a 1000-armed Kannon (Senju Kannon) sits in the center of the main hall and there are 500 statues of human sized 1000-armed Kannon standing in ten rows on each side. To walk through the long hall and see them in person is a really solemn experience. When you turn the corner into the main temple and see the multiple rows of carved statues, it literally takes your breath away!
It is a designated National Treasure. Takes about twenty minutes to walk there from Kyoto Station. Alternatively you can also take a bus from Kyoto Station.
As they open from 8am in the morning, I would recommend to get there early in the morning and enjoy its surrealism.
Sanjūsangendō (三十三間堂, Sanjūsangendō?) is a Buddhist temple in Higashiyama District of Kyoto, Japan. Officially known as "Rengeō-in" (蓮華王院), or Hall of the Lotus King, Sanjusangendo belongs to and is run by the Myoho-in temple, a part of the Tendai school of Buddhism. The temple name literally means Hall with thirty three spaces between columns, describing the architecture of the long main hall of the temple. Coordinates: 34°59′16″N, 135°46′18″E
Taira no Kiyomori completed the temple under order of Emperor Go-Shirakawa in 1164. The temple complex suffered a fire in 1249 and only the main hall was rebuilt in 1266. In January, the temple has an event known as the Rite of the Willow (柳枝のお加持), where worshippers are touched on the head with a sacred willow branch to cure and prevent headaches. A popular archery tournament known as Tōshiya (通し矢) is also held here on the same grounds since the Edo period.
Thousand Armed Kannon StatuesThe main deity of the temple is Sahasrabhuja-arya-avalokiteśvara or the Thousand Armed Kannon. The statue of the main deity was created by the Kamakura sculptor Tankei and is a National Treasure of Japan. The temple also contains one thousand life-size statues of the Thousand Armed Kannon which stand on both the right and left sides of the main statue in 10 rows and 50 columns. Of these, 124 statues are from the original temple, rescued from the fire of 1249, while the remaining 876 statues were constructed in the 13th century. The statues are made of Japanese cypress. Around the 1000 Kannon statues stand 28 statues of guardian deities. There are also two famous statues of Fujin and Raijin.
Heaven, may I be a Yurikamome amid Chrysanthemum flowers at Gion Matsori? High over Yasaka, show me a bird's eye view of Kannon, the god of mercy Bosatsu. Eleven faces has Ju-ichimen see them in The hondo of 33 bays at Rengeo-in. Kiyomizu Dera, inspired by Enchin. Let me ride on the wind like gails of Fujiin. Before I pass on I aim to seek 33 disguises peek by peek. Their piercing crystal eyes passed the test of time. May I find a thousand Zen gods sublime Serenade me, Kinnara, your sweet lullaby. Watch me Senju-kannon, in your every palm an eye. Forty palms and forty eyes glean twenty-five worlds in mine behold! Let there be maikos and moribana to the sound of koto chords. Let me have tea with Sen Rikyu In a mizuchaya swaddled in royal gagaku. Moribana is the abundant flower Gracing the fields of Ninomaru. Take me down to Sunset Horai-Jima, Up Tetsu Gaku no Michi way. I'll find wisdom in the halls of Kitano Wa Kei Sei Jaku will make it plain. And if through heaven's door should be my fate, Carry me right on past those pearly gates. To Shinto shrines and solemn Buddhist temples and The embrace of jolly prosperous bald men with dimples. Let me gain solace at castle Nijo Fusuma and byobu in Kano and Okyo. Hurah! huran is my daily matsuri at Golden pavilions with games of archery. See me fly like a magic arrow from Sanjusangendo. From the roof, from the belfry hiwada no shoro. Hanami tops will break my fall, I'll laugh like rakugo. My portrait will be taken by a Maruyam' Okyo. Lotus flowers and ashes of saito goma Yellow ginko leaves and toots of biwa. Amber rooms and beats of drums taiko make Complete my inner Yoshiwara of Edo. Back, back in time to Naniwa, take me emperor Goshirakawa. Mark the spot at Dotombori where Seven Samurai of Kirosawa Fulfilled their karma. Muga meant their mind and body were seamless and Kata proscribed their ways of finesse. Tassels and braided ropes, lanterns and wind chimes Tatami mats, midori gardens, plum tree groves and dragonflies. Old man Kamo river, gay yuka on its banks Chado is the graceful ceremony and sobacha is my morning delight. Ah, with his mouth open. Ikikata. Un, his lips are sealed. Bushido. Aft bamboo screen I hear cypress trees rustle through The Hinoki reed arrive Guardians of Nio. Ki is the life force within. The protector of peace is god Toho-ten. Rinri shows me the way to go haragai guides when the way is unknown. Dohtoku is the moral compass and evil is purged by trees willow. How many times must I jump from the veranda down below? For my gaiko Shikibu let me be Horai Hosho. From our riokan the voice of Kyu Sakamoto will Brighten spirits and uplift our hearts at Sanjusangendo. As for Asura, that wayward evil of the world and Rahu the swallower of sun and moonlight: Punish the heartless Sanji Taisho! Make me stronger Naraen-kengo! Wa is the harmonic fugue and Sa the unspoken motive on cue. Kigo is the waka season word Ojigi bows to be observed. Shogyo soku shogyo, that is the credo That came from Baigan Ishida, many moons ago. They say the water from the well is holy at Kamei- do. Write a prayer to Buddha for me, to paradise send my soul. Children play with spinning tops, women wear obi and sensu. Men make choices and choices are made, 47 ronin, seppuku. The Laws of Power are 33 and 33 bays has Rengeo-in Obama is the power of persuasion, the persuasion of power is now his kin.
. and for Valentines Day 2010
Enkai and ginger, cold sake brew Stairway to heaven, tsutenkaku. Mizu shobai the water business, nomiya ubiquitous. Rakugo, the comic tale of dandies and their Roppongi mistresses. Kaizen reaches for better days Kokoro Zukai, compassionate plays. Haragai reads between lines Lumi skywalk is the lover's pine. Dance music charms the happy fool, Pizzicato Five, Lupin the Third. Vuitton bags of Murakami Hang on the elbows of doe-eyed birds
copyright 2009 Daniel Bruno Sanz
Sanjusangendo means a hall with 33 bays. The number 33 is sacred in Buddhism, for it is believed that Buddha saves mankind by disguising himself in 33 different forms. The 33 bays hold 1,001 statues of Kannon-Bosatsu. Each statue is 5 1/2 feet tall, carved out of wood and leafed in gold. Each statue has crystlline eyes that appear lifelike.
The Sanjusangendo temple was originally built in the year 1164 at the request of the emperor. This temple in Eastern Kyoto is also known as Rengeo-in, although its more accepted name is Sanjusangendo. The temple is famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon, the Bodhisattva of Mercy and Compassion.
The Yurikamome is a laughing, migratory black-headed white seagull (Larus ridibundis). It is the official bird of Tokyo prefecture. The Chrysanthemum was brought to Japan by Buddhist monks in AD 400. Japanese emperors so loved the Chrysanthemum flower that they sat upon Chrysanthemum thrones. Chrysanthemums, kikus in Japanese, were featured on the Imperial Crest of Japan.
The Gion Festival takes place annually in Kyoto and is one of the most famous festivals in Japan. It spans the entire month of July and is crowned by a parade, the Yamaboko Junko on July 17.
According to the legend of the shrine, its history may go back as far as 150 years before the Heian era, A.D. 656 (the second year of the reign of Emperor Seimei).
The name of the shrine was changed to Yasaka-jinja when shrines and Buddhist temples were separated at the time of the Meiji Restoration (1868).
Kannon Bodhisattva (Jp. = Bosatsu) embodies compassion and is one of the most widely worshiped divinities in Japan and mainland Asia. Avalokitesvara, the Sanskrit name for this deity, can be translated as "Lord Who Regards All," and the Sino-Japanese term Kannon maintains this nuance, for Kannon literally means "watchful listening," and is often translated as "the one who sees/hears all."
Since it is difficult to portray 1,000 arms, it is customary to show Kannon with two main arms holding hands in prayer (Gassho-in, mudra of veneration), and 40 other arms holding symbolic objects. The 40 arms each represent 25 worlds, and 40 times 25 equals 1000. Each arm is also said to contain one eye, again totaling 1000 eyes. The 11 heads are said to represent the 10 stages along the Bodhisattva path, with the 11th head, the central head, representing Amida Buddha, for Kannon is one of Amida's attendants.
Guan Yin or ( Jp. = Kannon) head splits into eleven pieces after trying to comprehend the nature of human misery. Amitabha Buddha (Heavenly Buddha with eternal, infinite, endless bliss) morphed the 11 pieces into 11 heads (Ekadasa mukha = Sanskrit for 11 heads) with this new endowment, she was able to hear and comprehend the voices of suffering, but her helping hands (two arms) split into pieces. Amitabha came to her rescue and gave her one thousand arms. In the Hindu tradition, one thousand indicates literally one thousand and figuratively an infinite number. She needs an infinite number of arms to save all sentient beings from misery and suffering.
Thirty statues are placed in front of the 1,001 statues of Kannon-Bosatsu. Two of them are the deities of wind and thunder, the others are spirits called "Ninju-hachibushu". They serve the Kannon-Bosatsu and signify virtues of such as beauty, wisdom, prosperity, etc.
Kiyomizudera ("Pure Water Temple") is one of the most celebrated temples of Japan. It was founded in 780 and remains associated with the Hosso sect, one of the oldest sects within Japanese Buddhism. In 1994, the temple was added to the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.
Kiyomizudera stands in the wooded hills of eastern Kyoto and offers visitors a nice view over the city from its famous wooden terrace. Below the terrace, you can taste the spring water, which gives the temple its name and which is said to have healing power.
Behind Kiyomizudera's main hall stands Jishu Shrine, dedicated to the deity of love. In front of the shrine are two rocks, placed fifty feet apart from each other. Successfully walking from one to the other rock with your eyes closed is said to bring luck in your love life.
The monk Enchin founded Kiyomizudera temple in 798. Fujin is the Japanese god of the wind and one of the eldest Shinto gods. He is said to have been present at the creation of the world and when he first let the winds out of his bag, they cleared the morning mists and filled the Gate between heaven and earth so the sun shone.
He is portrayed as a terrifying dark demon, resembling a red headed black humanoid wearing a leopard skin, carrying a large bag of winds on his shoulders.
The Kinnaras are celestial musicians, officiating at the court of Kuvera (Kubera). In China, Buddhist monks claim that the Taoist deity Zao Jun, a Kitchen deity, is in fact a Kinnara. In India and its Hindu legends, the Kinnara are birds of paradise, and typically represented as birds with human heads playing musical instruments. This iconography is strikingly similar to that of the Karyoubinga -- heavenly musicians with the bodies of birds and the heads of humans.
At Sanjusangendo in Kyoto, two of the 28 followers of Kannon in the temple are Taishakuten (Indra), and his attendant, Kinnara, a percussionist..
Horai jima is the island of eternal happiness in the garden of Nijo castle. Nijo-jo or Nijo castle as it is better known, is one of the many sites in Kyoto city which has both impressive architecture and gardens including a number of cultural heritage treasures. The moated castle was constructed in the early 17th century by the Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first of the Tokugawa shoguns who unified all of Japan's feudal fiefdoms. The last Tokugawa shogun returned sovereignty to the Emperor ( Meiji Restoration, begining of modern Japan) in 1868 along with the castle, which in 1939 was handed over to the city of Kyoto.
The palace is some 3,300 square metres in floor area and consists of five buildings and 33 rooms. It is constructed from Hinoki (cypress) timber and the impressive wall paintings are by the Kano school of artists. The first building has two reception rooms used to check the identities of visiting feudal lords and act as waiting rooms before entering the main reception building where the lords were received by the Shogun's ministers, who received gifts. The building contains rooms for both ministers and the Imperial messengers. The feudal lords (daimyos) where then ushered into the audience rooms according to their allegiance. Those that fought against the Shogun were seen in the outer chambers, whilst those who were allies in the conflict were granted audience in the inner chambers. The shoguns private quarters were in a smaller separate building beyond the audience chambers. Other rooms contained the shogun's armoury. All the enclosed corridors have the traditional squeaky floorboards know as nightingale floors (Uguisu-bari). The boards squeak to alert the guards of approaching visitors or even ninja attacks. The bird like sounds they make give rise to the name.
The main Ninomaru garden is situated in front of the palace and has a large central pond with many large rocks and three islands representing eternal happiness (Horai-jima), crane (Tsuru-jima) and the turtle (Kame-jima).
A maiko is an apprentice geisha. Moribana are flowers. The koto is an ancient stringed instrument.
Kinkaku, or the Golden Pavilion, stands facing Kyoko-chi pond. It is completely covered in gold.
Sobacha is a health-boosting, unusual but popular caffeine-free buckwheat tea infusion from the Japanese Alps. "Jump down from the stage of Kiyomizu," is one of the most famous phrases-cum-dares in Japan. The so called 'stage' of Kiyomizu is actually more of an open veranda and forms part of the main hall of Kiyomizudera Temple. At a height of 45 feet, it enables visitors to take in the whole of the city - a view made all the more special in spring and autumn when cherry blossoms and autumn leaves serve to almost frame the view. The building itself is also worthy of note given that it is an amazing combination of 139 pillars but not one nail. The popular expression "to jump off the stage at Kiyomizu" is the Japanese equivalent of the English expression "to take the plunge". This refers to an Edo period tradition that held that, if one were to survive the 45 foot jump from the stage, one's wish would be granted. Two hundred thirty-four jumps were recorded during the Edo period and of those, 85% survived. The practice is now prohibited.
Naraen-Kengo. Narayana = Nara + Ayana = waters of the causal ocean + the resting place = Narayana is the resting place of the causal ocean. Sumerian mythology holds that the universe was created from the primeval waters that abided in the body of Nammu. Thus, Nammu the Sumerian Goddess, and Narayana, the Hindu God are the repository of the waters of the oceans. The universe is Vishnu's (Narayana) body. Naraen-Kengo in the Japanese Buddhist tradition is the Narayana of Hindus with limited attributes. Buddhists reject the idea of a Primordial Creator--no such Entity as Narayana of Hindus exists in Buddhist tradition. The god Naraen-Kengo is of immense physical strength and is the defender and protector of believers against evil.
In the poem above, Rahu, the god of darkness, is Daniel Bruno Sanz's reference to the total solar eclipse he saw, the longest of the 21st century, from southern Japan on July 22, 2009.
Kitano Shrine symbolizes the spirit of Michizane Sugawara, scholar and adviser to the Emperor Uda in the Heian Period. He was a loyal civil servant who became the victim of slander and was subsequently exiled to the island of Kyushu where he died. Shortly after his death a series of severe thunderstorms and earthquakes shook Edo (the capital). In addition, a number of the people who slandered him met an untimely demise These events were interpreted to mean that his powerful spirit was unhappy, and the Imperial Court moved to placate it by granting him the posthumous name of Karai Tenjin (God of Fire and Thunder), and building the Kitano shrine in his honor. Tenjin is now regarded as the deity of scholastic studies and is extremely popular with students preparing for high school or university entrance examinations.
Yuka first appeared in the Edo period. They are the wooden benches placed by merchants on the banks of the Kamogawa in Kyoto.
Murasaki Shikibu (c.973- 1025), or Lady Murasaki as she is often known in English, was a Japanese novelist, poet, and a maid of honor of the imperial court during the Heian period. She is best known as the author of The Tale of Genji, written in Japanese between about 1000 and 1008, one of the earliest novels in human history.
The revenge of the Forty-seven Ronin, also known as the Forty-seven Samurai, the Akō vendetta, or the Genroku Akō incident, took place in Japan at the start of the eighteenth century. The tale has been described by one noted Japanese scholar as the country's "national legend." It recounts the most famous case involving the samurai code of honor, bushidō.
The story tells of a group of samurai who were left leaderless (becoming ronin) after their daimyo (feudal lord) was forced to commit seppuku (ritual suicide) for assaulting a court official named Kira Yoshinaka, whose title was Kōzukeno suke. The ronin avenged their master's honor after patiently waiting and planning for over a year to kill Kira. In turn, the ronin were themselves forced to commit seppuku for committing the crime of murder. With much embellishment, this true story was popularized in Japanese culture as emblematic of the loyalty, sacrifice, persistence, and honor that all good people should preserve in their daily lives. The popularity of the almost mythical tale was only enhanced by rapid modernization during the Meiji era of Japanese history, when it is suggested many people in Japan longed for a return to their cultural roots.
33 Laws of Power is Daniel Bruno Sanz's reference to two works by American author Robert Greene: The 48 Laws of Power and the 33 Strategies of War.
Tsutenkaku is Osaka's famous tower and Lumi Skywalk is the pictaresque and romantic rooftop of an Osaka skyscraper. Roppongi is modern Tokyo's nightlife district and nomiya are the drinking and hostess establishments found there. Lupin the Third is a film music theme and Takashi Murakami is a contemporary artist whose designs appear on Louis Vuitton leather goods. Happy Fool Charm Dance Music is a Japanese genre of quirky, happy-go-lucky breakbeats and Pizzicato Five is a popular vocal group.