Prince Shōtoku is a legendary figure from the history of Japan, the son of Emperor Yōmei (the 31st emperor), best known for its support for the introduction of Buddhism to Japan. Regarding his strong belief in Buddhism, a legend says that:
Nichira, a sage from Kudara (Baekje, kingdom from South West Korea), came to Japan and met with Prince Shōtoku. Then, a light appeared from Nichira’s body and hit the prince in the middle of his forehead…
4 years after this event, Prince Shōtoku established the Shitennoji Temple from Osaka, known as the oldest officially administered temple in Japan.
In 1906, to honor the Prince, the beautiful bell tower from this photo was built and at the time this building was hosting the largest temple hanging bell in the world. This bell, weighting an astonishing 168 tons, was unfortunately melted during the World War II, according to the Metal Acquisition Law.
After the war, the bell tower was renamed Eirei-do (meaning “light for peace and prayer"), to honor the fallen soldiers.
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: