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SHINSEN-KYO (THE DIVINE GROUND) - PROTOTYPE OF HAKONE

 

The first stage of construction at Hakone had begun in May 1944, with Master Okada´s move from Tamagawa, in Tokyo, to Gora, in Hakone.

After moving into the villa Shinzan-so, Master Jinsai was able to acquire an adjoining piece of land owened by the Hakone Tozan Railway.

A clear purpose lay behind the acquisition of land in Hakone and Atami in the late-wartime and early-postwar years - during a period of severe material and spiritual deprivation in the lives of the Japanese people. That was to build, according to God´s plan, ideal grounds harmoniously combining the beauty of nature and the artistry of humankind to serve as a base for religious work. An earthly paradise embodying truth, virtue, and beauty was to be a prototype graphically demonstrating how an ideal world might in time actually be created on Earth. "Our ideal of Paradise on Earth" - Master Jinsai wrote - is a world of complete truth, virtue and beauty." He further explained: "The miniature paradise at the Shinsen-kyo suggests the worldwide paradise of the future."

The completion of such a prototype was seen as being deeply connected with the progress of actually constructing an ideal world. About this point, Master said: "God starts on a small scale and then gradually expands His activity untill it finally encompasses the world."

As the gardens gradually began to take shape during the summer of 1949, he commented in verse:

 

"Cutting and pruning

The overgrown plants and trees

That have gone wild,

In the Hakone mountains

We are making a garden of flowers."

 

Toward the end of 1950 site preparation for the Hakone Museum of Art were begun, and by the summer of 1951 that work was completed. By June 1952 the long-awaited Museum of Art was ready to be oppening officially. That event, which coincided with the completion of the Shinsen-kyo Grounds, was the occasion of a magnificent three-day celebration - the Service for Recognition Day of Paradise on Earth.

 

CONSTRUCTIONS OF SHINSEN-KYO

 

Koomyoo Shinden (The Divine Light Sanctuary) - While the construction of the Shinsen-kyo was proceeding, Meishu-Sama also acquired 42,000 square meters of land next to the Shinsen-kyo on the north side of the Soun-zan cable-car line. At that time, Meishu-Sama said: "The main sanctuary of World Messianity will be built here in the future." In the realization of Meishu-Sama´s desire, the sanctuary was completed on October 5, 1971. The sanctuary has a very simples form - four pillars supporting a large square roof. The dome of the globular celling describes in mosaic glass the Light of God whirling into space from a vortex. The use of this kind of Italian glass mosaic over such a large area is the first of its kind in Japan.

Okutsuki (The mausoleums of Meishu-Sama and Nidai-Sama) - To the shock and sorrow of the entire membership, Meishu-Sama ascended ti the spiritual realm on February 10, 1955. A week later on February 17, He was interred here. The area was a thickly covered forest and members worked day and night during the coldest part of the year to clear the forest and move the earth to build the mausoleum. Nidai-Sama passed away on January 24, 1962 and was also buried here on his right.

Nikko-den ("Hall of Sunshine) - The Nikko-den was completed in August of 1948. It originally contained 300 square meters because of the government restrictions on floor space at the time, but it was later enlarged to 730 square meters. In the building Meishu-Sama´s calligraphy, "Nikko-den" ("Hall of Sunshine") is displayed and it is signed "Meii", one of Meishu-Sama´s pennames. Services used to be held here before the Divine Light Sanctuary was completed and nw it is used for seminars and other events held in Hakone.

Shinzan-so ("Villa of Shinzan") - Shinzan-so, the first house that Meishu-Sama acquired in Hakone, was bought in May 1944. He moved here from Tokyo and made it the base from which to start construction of the Shinsen-kyo. The name of the house is derived from Mount Kami, which can also be read shinzan in Japanese. This is the highest mountain of the Hakone Range. Meishu-Sama liked this house very much and used it as a summer house. It contains about 492 square meters.

Sangetsu-an ("Retreat of the mountain moon") - In 1950, after 3 years of construction by Mr. Seibee Kimura, a master craftsman of tea house, the Sangetsu-an teahouse was completed. It is very well-known in Japan among contemporary tea houses. The house is traditional Japanese architectural style with a pyramid-shaped thatched roof; it is eighty-two square meters. The house was designed to create a peaceful and calm atmosphere in which to enjoy the tea ceremony.

Kanzan-tei ("Mountain view pavillion") - The construction of Kanzan-tei was completed on August 15, 1946. It was Meishu-Sama´s residence while He was in Hakone for the summer months; now it is a memorial dedicated to Meishu-Sama. It is a typical Japanese residence with a low-gabled roof covered with shingles. It contains one western-style room whre Meishu-Sama wrote His teachings when He was in Hakone. It has a floor space of 122 square meters. As the name of the house implies, it has a wonderful view of the Hakone Mountains, especially Myojo and Myojin Mountain. Oe clear days the Pacific Ocean can be seen in the background the Miura Peninsula and the Boso Peninsula, where Mount Nokogiri is located.

Sorei-sha (Ancestral Shrine) - In October 1958, Nidai-Sama established the Ancestral Shrine based on the Teachings of Meishu-Sama which say that we should pray for the happiness and welfare of those in the spiritual realm. Those enshrined are members of the Okada family, ancestors, and friends of members, and also souls from all countries who have died in war. Memorial services are conducted every morning and evening, and at other regular intervals. The building itself contains 490 square meters.

Kyusei Hakone Bijutsu-kan (The Kyusei Hakone Art Museum) - The Hakone Art Museum was opened on June 15, 1952. Meishu-Sama designed the building himself and supervised everything from the construction of the building to the making of the display cases. The building harmonizes beautifully with the gardens of the Shinsen-kyo. It is a three-story ferroconcrete building in Chinese style; it has a floor space of 881 square meters. Meishu-Sama was always on hand to supervise the arrangement of new displays, and on worship days, He always took pride in displaying articles that He had just acquired. He would say, "I must show these to the members".

Fujimi-tei ("Pavillion with a view of Mount Fuji") - The Fujimi-tei was originally built in October 1936 beside the headquarters of the church in Tamagawa, Tokyo. The building is Japanese style with a flat the roof, and has three rooms and a kitchen; the building is fifty square meters. The church was first established on January 1, 1935. Meishu-Sama channeled Johrei and gave guidance to everyone who came to the headquarters. At Fujimi-tei, Meishu-Sama wrote the characters for the Focal Points of Light, Ohikari and sacred scrolls. The building was rebuilt, restored, and moved to the Shinsen-kyo on the ninety-second anniversary of Meishu-Sama´s birth, December 23, 1974, where it remains as one of the monuments which has a special significance in the history of our church.

Hagi-no-ya ("House of bush clover") - The walkway leading to the Kyusei Hakone Art Museum is lined with bush clover which blooms beautifully in late September drooping red and white blossoms over the rocks along the pathside. Even before the church was established, Meishu-Sama liked Hakone very much and spent one summer there in a rented cottage. Hagi-no-ya was moved to its present position and restored in memory of Meishu-Sama´s stay in Hakone that summer. Meishu-Sama wrote calligraphies for the Ohikari and sacred srolls here for an hour every day. Hagi-no-ya is considered as part of the bamboo garden, and shows a little of the Chinese style. It has a floor space of about forty-three square meters.

The ponds, waterfalls, and rocks of the garden - The arrangement of the garden utilizes the background of the Hakone Mountains to create and impression of a remote mountain region; the rocks, waterfalls, and ponds of the Shinsen-kyo garden further heighten this feeling. The garden appears largen than it actually is and provides visual variety from any angle. Many different kinds of rocks were used in the garden and they all came from the area of the garden itself. Nowadays these rocks could be moved by machines, but at the time the garden was built, machines were not available. Large numbers of people worked together to dig out the rocks and move them. The area of this part of the garden is about 2,600 square meters.

 

 

Page address:

www.jinsai.org/english/prototypes/hakone.php

 

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