Sanmon (三門 or 山門 in Japanese) is a large, a few stories high temple gate. Sanmo is not only one of the key elements of the Zen Buddhist temple, but also one of the so called "seven temple halls" (七堂伽藍, Japanese: shichido garan), which are elements that form an ideal Zen Buddhism temple. There are many types of Buddhist temple gates in Japan, which are categorised into three ranks, being sorted by their height and size. The role of the sanmon in the Buddhist temple is to free all passers through from greed, hatred and foolishness. The pictured temple gate is located in Kencho-ji Rinzai Zen Buddhism temple in Kamakura. I also wrote another article about a small figurine of a meditating monk, which sits at the base of Kencho-ji temple gate, and you can read more about it here.
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