Thursday, March 15, 2012

Shikoku 88 Temple 8 Kumadaniji


Kumadaniji means Bear Valley Temple and is located up a valley, though it is believed it was even further up the valley originally. Some distance away at the mouth of the valley stands the main gate, considered to be the finest of all the 88 temples. It was built in 1688.


The main gate contained 2 fairly standard Nio, but in the middle gate were 2 brightly-painted nio of a quite different style. I must admit I know nothing about this style, though they seem to me to look very Hindu.


The main deity of the temple is the Thousand-armed Kannon (Senju kannon) and the statue was supposedly carved by Kukai. The founding legend has a story of the Kumano gods, as do many of the 88 temples and this leads historians to believe that sites connected to Kumano ascetics are one of the sources of the 88 temple pilgrimage.


Notable structures include a pagoda and this belfry. The main hall is a twentieth century construction.



  1. Looks like an amazing temple and love the name "Kumadaniji". Yes, the Nio Guardian does look very unique for Japan and is quite colourful.

    Japan Australia

  2. Pretty Awesome. Its nice to travel Japan vicariously through your photos... So many places I still need to see.

  3. This looks amazing. I've been to a few of the temples on that route by chance during my travels in Shikoku, but I'd love to do the whole pilgrimage someday.

  4. Looks like the brigthly painted deity is not a Nyo but Bishamonten (clues are the pagoda and the spear/trident). My 2 yen.