Kannon-do Hall of Gotoku-ji Temple
Walk the entrance path after entering the Gotoku-ji Temple compound and Kannon-do Hall with cedar trees in the back comes into view.
The ink written on the pieces found when dismantling and repairing the hall in 1967 revealed that Kannon-do Hall was built in 1557. This small hall of 18 feet on all sides with a thatched roof has magnificent entablature technique and thoroughly presents the architectural style of the Muromachi period. This important temple tells us of the relation of medieval architecture between the Aizu and Echigo districts.
The pillars and wall panels inside the hall are closely crowded with graffiti demonstrating the sentiments of people traveling in the civil war era, presenting the bustle on roads in old times. The Ashina clan is said to have been powerful in the medieval Aizu district, but fell in 1589 and secretly moved their family guardian Buddha to this land when they fought with Masamune Date. Inside the hall remains ink written by 33 generals of the Ashina clan as if to back up this legend.
The history after construction is not clearly known, but this district belonged to the former Aizu clan domain, and according to the memorandum of the Kansei era, large and small repairs were performed under the patronage of the liege lord of the Matsudaira clan.
Nobody is allowed to see Sho Kanzeon Bosatsu (Avalokitesvara-bodhisattva), the principal image, because the statue has been hidden for ages. The attendant standing statues, Sho Kannon Bosatsu and Jizo Bosatsu, were probably constructed in the Muromachi period. They convey the beautiful and unique local charm of the Aizu Buddhist culture.