In this work by Kawase Hasui, we see a man on a solo pilgrimage to the Hall of Golden Hue in a harsh condition; the lone man towered by tall trees evokes a melancholic sensation. The man seemed to be taking heavy steps towards his destination as he’s holding on a stick as a support, and the bitter cold must have pierced his bones; snow has piled up considerably on the pine trees and stairs, and it has yet to cease.
The snow must have been falling at quite a heavy rate as the footprints of the man could not be seen, implying that the snow must have been heavy and/or his pacing must have been slow. Either way, it seemed like it has been quite a tough journey for the man. The destination of the man, Hall of the Golden Hue, was built by Fujiwara no Kiyohira in 1124 and houses the Amitabha Triad, Jizo Bodhisattva Statue (Six Ksitigarbhas) and Two Heavenly Statues (Dhrtarastra and Virudhaka).
Fujiwara no Kiyohira lost his family in the two big wars at the end of the Heian Period, and when he later ruled the Tohoku region, he decided to build the Hall of the Golden Hue to guide the spirits of all beings, who died during the war or for unknown reasons, to the land of Perfect Bliss. While it might look plain from the outside, it’s quite luxurious inside as it’s filled with mother-of-pearl products which were brought into Japan via the Silk Road; there were also ivories and jewels. However, despite its lavishing appearance, it’s a solemn place as the golden coffin, containing the remains of the four Fujiwara generations, namely Fujiwara no Kiyohira, Fujiwara no Motohira, Fujiwara no Hidehira, Fujiwara no Yasuhira, rests quietly on top of an altar.
This amazing article written by Yeong!