Bentendo Hall
Bentendo Hall sits on a small incline called Benten-yama to the southeast of the Main Hall. It enshrines the female deity Benzaiten, also known as “Benten.” Because she has gray hair, this statue of Benzaiten is called “Rojo Benzaiten” (rojo = an elderly woman). It is considered one of the three prominent statues of Benten in the Kanto region, along with Enoshima Benten of Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Fuse Benten of Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture. Though it is not open to the public most of the time, it can be viewed a few days out of the year on occasions when Buddhist ceremonies are held.
   To the right in front of Bentendo Hall stands a belfry. The bell was re-cast by Makino Narisada in 1692 on the command of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi, the fifth Edo shogun. The bell became known amongst local residents as “the bell that announced the time,” and it continues to be rung by a monk at 6:00 each morning. It is also the subject of a famous haiku. Though the belfry was destroyed in the air raid on Tokyo in March 1945, the bell itself escaped damage. The belfry was rebuilt in 1950.
photo Bentendo Hall
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