By Catherine P.

On Friday, our last day in China, our group took a trip to the DaMing Temple.


The temple was built in the late 400s C.E. and is famous for its relationship with the monk, Jianzhen, who was there during the beginning of the 700s C.E. Jianzhen then made five attempts to voyage to Japan to spread the Buddhist faith, but only successfully completed the voyage on his sixth attempt in 753 C.E. He then traveled for another year until he reached Nara and was welcomed the Japanese Emperor. Throughout the end of his life, Jianzhen worked to propagate Buddhism throughout the Japanese aristocracy. Thanks to his work, upon his death a dry-lawyer statue of him was made and is still on display in Nara. It was temporarily on display in Yangzhou at the DaMing temple in 1980.

We only spent around two to three hours at the temple but during that time, we saw many beautiful buildings, including a pagoda that took exactly 311 steps to climb. From the top, we could see a view that extended over all of Slender West Lake Park and featured the Yangzhou city skyline in the distance. All in all, everyone enjoyed the visit to the DaMing temple and appreciated being introduced to the   traditions and culture that it preserves.