Kuri (庫裏)

Kuri (庫裏) refers to a single building among a Buddhist temple complex. It is also written as Kuri (庫裡). The Chinese character ri (裡) is a simplified character of ri (裏) and both characters mean "inside" and "inner." It is also called Kuin. It is sometimes used as the priest's living quarters or the kitchen to cook meals in a temple. In addition, the word 'Kuri' often refer to the priest's living quarters at present.

Kuri is an independent building in large temples, but in many branch temples it is often set in the same building of the temple office. Most Kuri look like ordinary houses.

In the Zen temples, Kuri is a place to cook meals for the priests including chief priest and mainly learned priests and for the altar of Buddha, and it is also used as So-do Hall (A hall for meditation). This is called Okuri (large Kuri). On the contrary, one set of architecture around the abbot's chambers is called Koguri (small Kuri), which refers to the kitchen of Uchi-saburai (office for samurai) or a guest room of the chief priest.

In the temples which have long histories, some Kuri are designated as cultural property. In some Zen temples, Idaten (The Indian deity Skanda, son of Siva and general of his army, who became a protector of the Dharma in Buddhism) is enshrined as a guard of the temple building.

In addition, in the Jodo Shinshu (the True Pure Land Sect of Buddhism), it refers to a wife of the chief priest, and she is sometimes called "Okuri-san" as an honorific title.

[Original Japanese]