Thursday, August 25, 2016

Fudarakusan-ji Temple,,, dying to get to heaven

Fudarakusan is a Tendai temple located on the coast in Nachi at the southern end of Wakayama. According to legend is was founded by an Indian monk in the 4th century, hundreds of years before the official introduction of Buddhism into Japan.

It is one of two temples that are part of the Kumano Kodo World heritage Sites and is most famous for Fudaraku Tokai..... journeying to Paradise. Fudaraku is the Japanese version of Mount Potalaka, the Pure land of Kannon that lay off the southern tip of India.

Monks would be sealed within rudderless and oarless boats and set adrift with food and water for 30 days on their journey to reach paradise. They were not always sealed in as there are reports of monks jumping overboard and drowning after being towed out to sea and released. Another favorite tactic seems to have been pulling a plug in the hull so the boats quickly sank.

It seems obvious that the vast majority would have died, though there is a case of one monk who managed to drift and come ashore in what is now Okinawa to continue with his life. The tourist literature states that in later times the monks would be set adrift once they had passed away naturally.

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting information and images!

    Thank you very much for sharing