Jianzhen Memorial Hall – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

jianzhen memorial hall

Nestled within the ancient Daming Temple in Yangzhou, China, the Jianzhen Memorial Hall (鉴真纪念堂) stands as a testament to the significant contributions made by the venerable monk Jianzhen in promoting cultural exchange between China and Japan. Erected in 1973, this architectural masterpiece was designed by the renowned Chinese architect Liang Sicheng, drawing inspiration from the main architectural relics of Jianzhen’s legacy in Japan, the Golden Hall of Toshodai-ji Temple. The memorial hall exudes an elegant and classical charm, preserving the architectural styles of the Tang Dynasty.

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour2 hours
Ticket PriceIncluded in the ticket of Daming Temple, which costs 30 RMB
Opening Hours8.00 – 16.30
Telephone Number0086-0514-87357803

Who is Jianzhen

Jianzhen, a highly respected Buddhist leader in the Huainan region during his time, studied under the tutelage of Master Dao’an, the founder of the Luoyang School of Vinaya, and was entrusted with the mission of propagating Buddhist teachings in Japan. After embarking on six arduous journeys to the east, he spent a decade in Japan, where he not only tirelessly propagated Buddhism but also introduced various aspects of Chinese culture, including Tang Dynasty arts, calligraphy, sculpture, medicine, craftsmanship, printing, and architecture. In essence, Jianzhen served as a cultural envoy in the form of a monastic delegation, and his efforts played a pivotal role in fostering mutual goodwill and understanding between the peoples of China and Japan.

Despite losing his vision during his travels, Jianzhen remained steadfast in his mission. His dedication to bridging the cultural gap and sharing the rich cultural heritage of the Tang Dynasty with the people of Japan became a reality, fulfilling the long-standing aspiration of mutual friendship between the two nations since the Wei and Jin dynasties.

Highlights of the Memorial Hall

In 1963, marking the 1200th anniversary of Jianzhen’s passing, China and Japan jointly decided to commemorate this significant figure with a grand memorial ceremony. Zhao Puchu, Chairman of the Buddhist Association of China, and Daigaku Horiguchi, a prominent Japanese Buddhist leader, represented the Joint China-Japan Jianzhen Memorial Committee. It was agreed that a memorial hall would be constructed within the Great Ming Temple, with construction commencing in 1973 and concluding in 1974.

The memorial hall is divided into three distinct sections. The front hall bears a prominent inscribed plaque, welcoming visitors into the world of Jianzhen. The middle section, known as the “Beitang” or Memorial Stele Hall, houses a horizontal stone tablet that serves as a poignant tribute to the monk’s life and achievements. Finally, the rear section, designed in the architectural style of Tang Dynasty temples, serves as the central focus of the memorial hall. In this sanctuary, a magnificent wooden statue of Jianzhen takes center stage. This sculpture, painstakingly created to resemble the master’s likeness before his passing, exudes an aura of serenity and unwavering determination.

Adorning the walls on both the eastern and western sides of the hall are decorative murals illustrating key episodes from Jianzhen’s journey to the east. These murals depict locations such as the Great Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi’an, the Seven Star Crags in Zhaoqing, the Autumn Tides at the Ama-no-Iwato Shrine in Kyushu, and the Golden Hall of Toshodai-ji Temple in Nara, Japan. These artistic depictions provide a visual narrative of Jianzhen’s life and the places he encountered along his remarkable journey, further connecting visitors with his profound experiences and cultural exchanges.

Cultural Significance

The Jianzhen Memorial Hall is not just a place of remembrance; it is a living testament to the enduring bond between China and Japan, solidified through the unwavering dedication and unyielding spirit of Jianzhen. It stands as a beacon of cultural exchange and mutual respect, inspiring people to continue nurturing the harmonious relationship between these two great nations.

In a world marked by divisions, the Jianzhen Memorial Hall serves as a reminder of the power of cultural exchange to bring people together, regardless of geographical distances or historical differences. It is a tribute to the enduring legacy of a monk who transcended borders, time, and challenges to promote unity and friendship between nations.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *