Seiryoji Temple is a historic old temple with treasure of many important cultural properties, including the Buddha statue of National Treasure. It is located about 1 kilometer north from Arashiyama Togetsu Bridge in Kyoto’s leading sightseeing area. It can be used as a starting point for exploring the sightseeing spots of Sagano such as Daikakuji Temple, Jojakkoji Temple, Nisonin Temple, Giouji Temple etc
Seiryoji Temple has an alias of “Saga Shakado” and is a temple of Jodo sect known as a dojo of Yuzu Nenbutsu (reciting the name of Amida Buddha). There is a grave of MINAMOTO no Toru (model of Hikaru Genji of the Tale of Genji) deeply related to the temple and Kubi-zuka (Mound for Severed Head) of Hideyori Toyotomi. “Otaimatsu-shiki” (Torches Festival) to be held in March is one of the three big fire festivals in Kyoto, along with “Gozan Okuribi” (Mountain Bonfire) and “Kurama Fire Festival”, and it is also famous as plum spot.
“Saga Dainenbutsu Kyogen” (Noh Farce) to be held at such a precinct of Seiryoji Temple is a folk performing art that is designated as an important intangible folk cultural property of the country. It is a big feature that all actors put a mask, there is no speech, and the play proceeds only with hand gestures. Currently, about 20 programs are inherited.
Its history is old and in legend it is considered as the founding of Engaku Shonin who expanded Yuzu Nenbutsu in the Kamakura period. As seen from the historical sources, Saga Dainenbutsu Kyogen has masks made in the Muromachi period (1529), and it is thought that it has already had a history of nearly 500 years.
Among Kyogen, a classical comedy, what is called “Dainenbutsu Kyogen” is a religious drama created for the propagation of Buddhism. Kyogen, a funny drama, gradually developed as entertainment for the general population. When the performer puts on Kyogen ‘s face and makes funny movements, laughter and applause rise from the audience seats, and it is wrapped in a fun atmosphere.
Seiryoji Temple, located in the north of Arashiyama in Kyoto Prefecture, which is full of breathtaking attractions by many tourists, Saga Dainenbutsu Kyogen (Noh Farce) is held several times a year. Saga Dainenbutsu Kyogen is said to originate from Yuzu Nenbutsu (reciting the name of Amida Buddha) that Saint Ryonin started in the latter half of the Heian period.
Yuzu Nenbutsu is the teaching that “Buddhist invocation of one person leads to Buddhist invocation of all people”, mutual actions of their chanting the invocation to Amida Buddha. Dainenbutsu Kyogen by Saint Enkaku who was the restorer of Yuzu Nenbutsu is inherited in Mibu Temple, Seiryoji Temple, Senbon Enmado Temple, Shinsenen Temple in Kyoto.
There are 24 Kyogen ‘s plays which the performer who masks plays silently in accordance with the music, drum, whistle accompaniment. It is the feature of Saga Dainenbutsu Kyogen that “Yawarakamon” of atmosphere with a showy as humorous scuffle as “Katamon” of a highlight is performed by turns. In addition to regular performance in spring and autumn, Kyogen can also be seen on “Saga Otaimatsu-shiki” on March 15 and “Arashiyama Momiji Festival” on the second Sunday in November.
Saga Dainenbutsu Kyogen is a Kyogen held in Seiryoji Temple’s Hoe (a Buddhist memorial service) and is designated as an important intangible folk cultural asset. The “Yuzu Nenbutsu engi emaki (Illustrated Handscroll of the Origins of the Yuzu Nenbutsu sect)” which is said to be the work of 1314 depicts the appearance of the Dai-Nembutsu (Yuzu-Nembutsu) at Seiryoji Temple. If you have the opportunity, please visit Saga Dainenbutsu Kyogen with history.
|Name:||Saga Dainenbutsu Kyogen (Noh Farce)|
|Address:||Sagashakadofujinokicho 46 Kyoto Ukyo-ku, Kyoto 616-8447 Japan|
|Access:||JR Sanin-honsen Line “Saga-Arashiyama-eki Station” (14 minutes walk)|
|Tel:||(+81) 75-861-0343 (Seiryoji Temple)|