Refocusing on Nara's "Hachiko statue" and "Gyoki-san" August 3, 11:47 with the new discovery of Corona

Hachiko in Shibuya is a popular meeting spot in Tokyo.

Similarly, the meeting spot that is familiar to Nara residents is "Gyoki-san" in front of Kintetsu Nara Station.

Gyoki is known as a high priest who was involved in the construction of the Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple in the Nara period more than 1200 years ago.

In fact, recently, there was a big discovery that Gyoki was loved by the people of the time.

Gyoki gained the support of people during the time when the plague raged.

Now that the corona is bad, the achievements are attracting attention again.

(Nara Broadcasting Station reporter Chitose Yashiro)

Gyoki loved by people both in the past and now

Kintetsu Nara Station, the gateway to the ancient city of Nara.

The statue of Gyoki stands on the fountain, and Todaiji Temple is in front of it.

In Nara, when meeting at a station, it is standard to have a meeting place in front of this "Gyoki-san".

Gyoki was asked by Emperor Shomu to cooperate in the construction of the Great Buddha at Todaiji Temple in the Nara period, more than 1200 years ago.

At that time, people were at the mercy of natural disasters such as earthquakes and droughts, and the plague of smallpox was also rampant.

I want to save the unstable world due to plague with the power of Buddhism.

It is said that Gyoki, who built temples in various places and conducted social activities for the people, caught the hearts of the people at that time and became known as the "Bodhisattva."

And, after many years, even now in the Reiwa era, as the infection of the new corona continues to spread, people who wish to eliminate the plague are visiting the Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple.

Discover the ruins of an unprecedented circular building What on earth?

In October of last year, there was a new discovery about Gyoki.

2 stops by train from Kintetsu Nara Station, where the statue of Gyoki is located.

This is an archaeological excavation conducted on a small hill about 1 km southwest of Yamato-Saidaiji Station.

When the archaeological research institute "Gango-ji Cultural Property Research Institute" in Nara proceeded with the excavation, the remains of a circular building were found.

The remains of the found building are about 14 meters in diameter.

In baseball, it's the same length between the pitcher and the batter.

In soccer, it's a little bigger than the center circle.

A little outside the remains of the circular building, there were also traces of corridors and fences that seemed to have been set up to separate the place from the others.

Both are believed to be from the Nara period.

However, in fact, the remains of a circular building have never been found in the ruins of the Nara period.

In a building dedicated to someone?

What kind of building was built?

One of the ideas that the research team came up with was the format of "octagonal circle hall".

The building of the form "Hachikakuendo" is said to have been built at the time of the memorial service of Prince Shotoku, "Yumeden of Horyuji Temple in Nara", and Fujiwara no Fuhito, who was instrumental in relocating to Heijokyo. Famous examples include "Hokuen-do in Kofuku-ji, Nara", all of which have an octagonal shape that is close to a circle.

Another idea I thought of was the "Tahoto" format.

The "Tahoto" type building is famous for being located at "Kongo Sanmai-in" in Koyasan, Wakayama Prefecture, which was built by Masako Hojo to enshrine her husband Minamoto no Yoritomo. It is a feature that there is.

It is not possible to know what kind of building was actually built at this excavation site without a time slip, but what all the plans have in common is that they are "for memorial service for someone". ..

Isn't it a building that praises the virtues of "Gyoki"?

So who is the target of the memorial service?

Gyoki is the answer that researchers have accumulated and derived from a number of circumstantial evidences.

It is said that this building was built to honor Gyoki's virtues.

There are three main reasons for thinking so.

<Reason 1> Matches the description in "Gyoki Yearbook"

The first is where the ruins of the building were found.

The clue is the historical material "Gyoki Yearbook" from the Heian period, which bears the name of Gyoki.

There is a passage that there was a temple called "Nagaoka-in", which is related to Gyoki, in the west of Sugawara-ji.

Sugahara Temple is the current Kikoji Temple.

The west oka.

The excavation site this time was in the location as described.

<Reason 2> The excavated item coincides with the time when Gyoki died.

The second is the time when the building was built.

In the world of archeology, we narrow down the time from the pottery and roof tiles excavated together.

This time, due to the characteristics of the patterns of the excavated items, the building was narrowed down to be around 750.

Gyoki died in 749.

There is no contradiction in terms of time as a memorial tower for Gyoki.

<Reason 3> Positional relationship with the Great Buddha Hall

And the third is the positional relationship with the Great Buddha Hall at Todaiji Temple.

This is a map of the cityscape of Heijokyo at that time.

The Sugawara site, where the remains of a circular building were found this time, is on the west side of Heijokyo.

Todaiji Temple is located just east of the temple.

Both the ruins and the Great Buddha Hall at Todaiji Temple are over 100 meters above sea level.

"It was clearly built with the Great Buddha Hall in mind," the researchers point out.

Gyoki is the right person for the memorial service

In the description of the literature, the time of the building and the location conscious of the Great Buddha Hall ...

Combined with circumstantial evidence, researchers believe that Gyoki is the right person for the memorial service.

Professor Emeritus Towao Sakaehara of Osaka City University, who is the director of the Todaiji Institute of History, speculates that the person who built the building is based on the history of Gyoki's missionary work in various places.

Professor Emeritus Towao Sakaehara of Osaka City University

"Disciples and believers who traveled around with


. Believers, aristocrats, and people who visited Gyoki. Isn't it? "

Many of the ruins are difficult to leave

This is a big discovery about Gyoki, but the site of this survey is the planned site for residential land development.

After the survey, the construction work will be carried out as planned.

According to the Agency for Cultural Affairs, there are about 9,000 archaeological excavations a year.

Nearly 90% of this is being carried out during development work, and in most cases development has been resumed after conducting a survey.

Experts familiar with the protection of cultural properties have pointed out that it may be necessary to consider a new mechanism to compensate for future losses of private companies so that the number of archaeological sites that can be preserved locally can be increased in the future.

Professor Emeritus Hirofumi Hashimoto, Niigata University

"Isn't it okay to have a system for private businesses to compensate for the loss caused by the inability to develop?"

Achievement of Gyoki who is re-focused on Corona

From this discovery, it is possible that people at that time built a memorial tower in the Nara period, more than 1200 years ago, in an attempt to preserve the virtues of Gyoki.

This is a form that proves that Gyoki has been loved by people since that time.

Gyoki was repressed at one time, contrary to the imperial court's policy that "monks are in temples to learn and convey teachings," but the activities were sympathetic and the disciples called "Gyoki group" It is said that the number of supporters has gradually increased.

After that, the emperor asked for cooperation in the construction of the Great Buddha, and he was appointed as the highest rank "great monk" as a monk.

The Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple, which was built to save the world from the plague, shows people who wish to get rid of the plague even in the era of Reiwa.

"Gyoki-san" is loved in Nara both now and in the past.

Now that Corona is terrible, the new discoveries have deepened the understanding of Gyoki's achievements.


Broadcasting Station


Chitose Yashiro

Joined in 2016 After working at the Yamagata Broadcasting Station, he was assigned to the Nara Yamato Road Branch in Kashihara City last year. Visiting the ruins of the Asuka / Nara period is a daily routine.