betsu-in 別院
KEY WORD : architecture / buildings & structures
Also called *gobou 御坊. In the Nagoya area, it is called kakesho 掛所.

1 Lit. separate hall. A branch temple with its own name managed in the 7c-8c by a main temple. It may be located fairly near the main temple or at a considerable distance from it. In the 7c-8c, the name of the branch temple usually was prefixed by the name of the main temple and was managed by it. In the 9c, with the advent of the new Buddhist sects--Tendai 天台 and Shingon 真言--the system of main and branch temples became fairly common. When the Pure Land sects--first the Pure Land sect / Joudo 浄土 sect, and the True Pure Land sect / Joudoshin 浄土真 sect--arose in the 11c-12c, branch temples became relatively independent of the main temple and were then known by their own names only. Examples: the 1495 Naniwa Betsu-in なにわ別院 belonging to Nishihonganji 西本願寺 and the 15c Tsumura Betsu-in 津村別院 belonging to Higashihonganji 東本願寺. Both main temples are in Kyoto.

 Branch offices for administrating temple affairs were sometimes also called betsu-in.

 Utilitarian buildings, for example, the bathhouse *ooyuya 大湯屋, at temples in the 7c-8c were called betsu-in because they were erected outside the sacred precinct of the seven basic buildings considered necessary for religious activities.


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