Central Honshu, known also as Chubu region, is significant in the development of Japanese politics, religions and society from the Kamakura era (1192-1333) to Meiji restoration (1868). Kamakura period is the most exciting period in the development of Japanese Buddhism through very powerful aristocratic patronage and the transmission of Song and Yuan Buddhism from China. This period witnessed the beginning of Zen Buddhism in Japan with two imported schools from China flourishing around the two founders ~ Eisai (1141-1215) of the Rinzaishu and Dogen (1200-1253) of the Sotoshu.
This study tour will cover the major temples and monasteries of Zen Buddhism between Fukui and Kamakura and explore the relationship between Zen ideals, art and architecture and the stunning natural landscape. The program will also include other well-preserved ancient monuments, including a castle ~ Matsumoto Castle; a garden ~ Kenrokuen; a town ~ Kanazawa and a unique village ~ Suganuma in Gokayama. In addition, the modern architecture of Tadao Ando, Kazuyo Sejima, Kengo Kuma and Toyo Ito will be visited in order to experience the expression of Zen spirit in these contemporary buildings.
Dr. Puay-peng Ho is Professor and Director of the School of Architecture and Director of the Centre for Architectural Heritage Research at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. He received his First Class Honours degree in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh and a Ph.D. in Art History from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His thesis was focused on Buddhist art and architecture of the Tang dynasty.
The tour is fully subscribed due to the overwhelming response from members to the trip announcement last December.