Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Shodoshima Pigrimage temple 4 Furue-an

Just after sunrise on Christmas Eve, I was greeted by Fudo Myo, an auspicious beginning as I set out on the Shodoshima Pilgrimage.

I started at temple number 4, Furue-an, as my minshuku was literally right next door. I am going to do a loop around the small peninsula before heading up unto the mountains to the official first temple. In front was a line of 33 Kannon statues representing the Bando Kannon Pilgrimage.

Furue-an can be translated as a hermitage rather than a temple. At a point in the past, a monk or nun lived here, but it is not a temple with a priest. It is maintained by local people, and quite a few of the "temples" on this pilgrimage are hermitages. There is a very homely and friendly atmosphere at them.

It is located right on the water's edge and right behind it is a small local shrine named Otomiya Shrine. In many small communities such as Furue the shrine and temple are right next to each other and historically would have been one place.

The honzon is an Amida Nyorai, said to have been carved in the Kamakura period. Behind the temple is a memorial to the fact that this beach was used for suicide submarine practice during the war.


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