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Kōmyō-ji Temple

An Edo period temple in Saijō rebuilt by renowned architect Andō Tadao.

Kōmyō-ji Temple

Kōmyō-ji is a Buddhist Temple in Saijō. While the gate and the belfry date from the Edo period, the main hall and other structures were rebuilt by renowned architect Andō Tadao in 2000. This is one of several buildings in Shikoku by Andō. Note that although you can enter the temple grounds freely, as with many temples you can’t go inside except for worship.

The main temple, built over 250 years ago, was no longer sound and needed major repairs and reconstruction. An adjacent plot was also planned to be the site for a building to house guests and rooms for the monks. The abbot of the temple didn’t stipulate conditions for the new structure. He simply explained his ideas in general terms, expressing a desire to build a temple in which people could meet, that would be open to the community.

Andō wanted to create a space that represented a return to the origins of wooden architecture, a unique structure assembled from many parts, with each part rich in tension. The main hall is a structure of laminated wood emphasizing vertical walls and a horizontal roof. It stands in a reflecting pool fed by one of the many springs of Saijō. Various structures made of concrete and glass slabs surround the main hall. Ornamental tiles and carved panels from the Edo period provide some relief from the straight lines of the industrial materials.

Information

Name in Japanese: 光明寺

Pronunciation: kōmyō-ji

Address: 550 Omachi, Saijo, Ehime 793-0030

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