Temple founded in the 11th century at Uji, southeast of Kyoto. Originally a large compound of buildings, its chief relic today is the popular Phoenix Hall (Hōōdō). A hall dedicated to the Buddha Amida, this is one of the finest examples of the aristrocratic art and architecture of the late Heian period (794-1185). It is known as the Phoenix Hall because of the symmetrical wings of its ground plan and the bronze birds that ornament its roof. Completed in 1053, the hall is a National Treasure. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)
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