I took it in December 21st. If you want to see the picture taken in November, the most popular season of "Momiji" whose meaning is red colored maple leaves, please click here
to go to Japanese version.
In November the Japanese maple leaves turn a deep-deep red or orange color. Japanese have a strong affection to them. You should come and see our landscape with "Momiji" once in your life.
The origin of Anraku-ji temple is based on a severely sad story back in 13th century; at the begining of the Kamakura period [AD. 1192-1333] It would tell us how strong the suppression against Honen was.
Anrakuji temple was built for a memorial of two monks, Anraku and Juren, the pupils of Honen who was the founder of faith sect, Jyodo Shu.
Jyodo Shu is now a huge sect and has a big religous power. However back in 13th century, people in power and especially resigned Emperor "Gotoba" who actually still had a power in the era didn't want Honen and his disciples to teach all the people an equal salvation against the organized feudalism after a long period of aristocratic rule.
The two disciples, Anraku and Juren, got plea from "Gotoba"'s concubines who were daughters of an aristocrat and minister at that time named "Imadegawa" to enter the faith sect of Amida founded by Honen under the guidance of Anraku and Juren.
Two of diciples finally accepted plea from concubines Suzumushi and Matsumushi, and the sad story began.
Gotoba,the resigned Emperor was looking for the chance to exclude and diminish the growing power of Honen, and this incident was a substantially good one.
Honen was exiled at the age of 75 and both Anraku and Juren were executed in 1207 only for having accepted their plea without Emperor's permission. Suzumushi and Matsumushi committed suicide after all.
For your information, such a severe response to the Buddhist community was very rare in the history of Japan.