The mirror at Shippo-ji Temple—featuring the design of a harp player (Hakuga-dankin-kyo), typical of the Chinese Tang Dynasty period—is said to be a type of mirror prevalent throughout Japan between the Nara and Heian periods. The mirror’s surface is adorned with elaborate hairline engravings depicting an image of the Pure Land of Amida, while the back of the mirror is embossed in relief with a depiction of the famous Hakuga playing a harp. Hakuga was a master harp player during China’s Spring and Autumn period, but after the death of Shoshiki—who would often listen to Hakuga’s playing—the virtuoso claimed that there was no longer anyone who could understand his playing, and therefor cut the strings of his harp and never played again.
Most mirrors of this type, of which 12 different designs have been recorded around Japan, are circular in design. The mirror at Shippo-ji Temple, however, features an 8-petal flower design, making it an extremely rare piece of history. The mirror was designated a prefectural cultural property in March 1988.
|Spot Name||Shippo-ji Temple|
110 Oyama, Kamikawa Town