Shin-Yakushiji
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Shin-Yakushiji
Shin-Yakushiji

Shin-Yakushiji is not as imposing as Nara’s other big attractions; it’s quieter and more contemplative. Originally founded in 747 C.E. by the Empress Komyo as a prayer for the health of her husband, the Emperor Shomu, this was once an elaborate complex. Nothing much survives now but the hondo, the main hall, which enshrines Yakushi Nyorai, the Buddha of Healing. The temple is also famous for its sculptures of the 12 Heavenly Generals, but these are replicas of replicas, not even 100 years old. Elsewhere on the grounds is a small Jizo Hall, listed as one of Japan’s Important Cultural Properties. Contrary to the hall’s name, Jizo, the protector of the unborn and the traveler, is not enshrined here; rather, the main image is an 11-faced Kannon.

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