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  • Japanese: 室生寺 (murou-ji)

Murô-ji is a Buddhist temple located about 40 miles from Nara and founded in the early Heian period; it is notable as representative of a shift in Buddhist temple design & aesthetics in Japan.

In the Asuka and Nara periods Buddhist temples in Japan were built according to the continental model, in which the main hall (hondô or kondô) was set atop a flat stone base, painted, and roofed with tiles. Secondary buildings within temple compounds were sometimes constructed in a different style, constructed of unpainted wood, and with thatched or wooden shingle roofs. In the Heian period, however, this latter style began to be used for main halls as well, and Murô-ji is a prime example of this development.


  • Conrad Schirokauer, David Lurie, and Suzanne Gay, A Brief History of Japanese Civilization, Wadsworth Cengage (2013), 57.