Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dainichi-ji Temple 4 Shikoku Pilgrimage

Dainichi-Ji is located in Itano Town, Tokushima Prefecture, and is the 4th temple on the henro route.

According to legend it was founded by Kukai and he carved the main deity sculpture of Dainichi Nyorai. It belongs to the Shingon sect.
The architecture is nothing special, but in a covered corridor connecting the main hall with the Daishi hall are a collection of nice statues.

One thing you will see at every temple on the route is a red statue of Kobo daishi himself.

The corridor contains 33 statues of kannon that were donated by someone from Osaka in the mid eighteenth century.

There is a fine statue of Shomen Kongozo, an interesting deity with daoist overtones and a link to the three monkeys. he is known as a deity to pray to for relief from diseases caused by demons.

There is also a nice statue of Benzaiten.

EDIT..... When I first posted this my knowledge of Buddhist figures was very limited. The red statue is of course Binzaru, and I direct you to the excellent comment blow by Ted Taylor for details...


  1. Actually, the red statue is Binzuru, a particularly interesting character in the Buddhist pantheon. Why is he red?

    "He was a physician and came from a family of distinguished physicians. But, he loved to drink and this often caused problems. One day, a rich man came to the Buddha and asked him to overcome an evil spirit that had been afflicting his house. The Buddha couldn't go, so he sent Binzuru in his place, but admonished him to be careful and not to drink. Binzuru went and did, in fact find an evil spirit. He confronted it and, by proclaiming the Buddha's teachings, overcame it.

    In thanks, the rich man threw a banquet and Binzuru, after holding out for a long time, broke down and had a drink in celebration. Not being able to stop after just one, though, he got drunk and lost his power over the evil spirit. The spirit returned and soon the house was suffering again. The Buddha became mad and kicked Binzuru out of his community but said nothing when he saw that Binzuru was still following him around and listening from outside.

    When the Buddha died, he called Binzuru to his side and told him that he forgave him, but that Binzuru would never be allowed to enter Nirvana himself. He would always have to remain in this world to minister to the people. That is why you see his red-faced statue at many temples. People rub the statue and then place the hand they used over the part of their body that hurts. "

  2. Hi Ted
    You are of course correct. I had never seen the figure before and then i saw it at every temple on the shikoku henro so I presumed it was KD. I though the face looked odd though.