Journey of 2000 Steps

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加藤 清正 Kato Kiyomasa (July 25, 1561 – August 2, 1611), the 大名 daimyo of 熊本 Kumamoto is enshrined at Jochibyo, part of 本妙寺 Honmyo-ji Temple in 熊本 Kumamoto.

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Honmyo-ji Temple is recognised as being the pre-eminent temple of Nichiren Buddhism throughout the entire island of Kyushu, west of Japan.

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加藤 清正 Kato Kiyomasa was a devoted practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism and renowned for his skills in envisioning and building impenetrable fortresses.

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He was the architect and constructor of Kumamoto Castle, which became his primary residence during the Azuchi Momoyama and Edo periods.

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That Jochibyo, Kiyomasa’s eternal resting place, is built at the same height as that of 熊本城 Kumamoto Castle, seems apt.

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It takes the stepping of about two thousand footsteps and the climbing of about four hundred and seventy-five staircases to get to Jochibyo.

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The journey of two thousand steps begins.

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Guardians of the main gate into the area that eventually leads into the shrine and to Kato Kiyomasa’s tomb.

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Numerous temples line the path leading to Kato Kiyomasa’s resting place.

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Many families and individuals have also chosen to be laid to rest here along this path since Kato Kiyomasa’s burial four hundred years ago.

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A resting place along the way.

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The garden path inside Honmyo-ji Temple.

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IMG_3345Honmyo-ji, the temple that Lord Kato Kiyomasa build in 1588 to lay his father to rest and honour his spirit.

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The gate of Honmyyo-ji Temple.

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Continue the ascent to Kato Kiyomasa’s grave…

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