Friday, December 18, 2015

Nanzoin Temple part 2


There is a lot to see at Nanzoin Temple. A friend once described it, critically, as like a Buddhist "theme park", but I think back in the Edo period pilgrimage temples were a lot like that with many "attractions" to draw pilgrims. In the grounds  stands a massive, ancient tree that had been hit by lightning, though still living. Carved into it is a relief of Raijin, the God of Thunder and Lightning.


Nanzoin is a pilgrimage temple, being the first of the Sasaguri Pilgrimage. There is also a complete set of the 500 Rakan, or Arhats, the disciples of the Buddha, each with a different face and pose.


Not sure who this is. Obviously dressed as a monk, it might very well be Kobo Daishi. the founder of Shingon, the sect to which Nanzoin belongs.


This modern carving of a married couple is a Sainokami, also known as Dosojin. In earlier times they were often a single phallic stone, or a a pair of stones and were placed at village boundaries and crossroads for protection.


Probably a Jizo as he often is holding a staff and with children around him, but he seems to have a medicine jar in his left hand which is what Yakushi Nyorai, the Healing Buddha, would be holding


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