Saturday, February 24, 2018

Cement Town Tsukumi

Cement Town Tsukumi

Tsukumi is a small fishing port on the coast of Oita between Usuki and Saiki that I walked through after visiting temple 29, Kaiganji.

Kust inland is a massive limestone quarry many times larger than the town itself, and the fishing harbors are overshadowed by a large port that ships out the cement. In between is a complex of industrial infrastructure that processes the material.

To get through the town means passing right through the maze of factories, smokestacks, conveyor belts etc.

By any criteria, ie per capita, per acre, etc etc Japan produces more concrete than anywhere else in the world.......

Yuzukosho (yuzu pepper) is a signature product from Usuki & Hita

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Portraits of Rakan

Rakan, sometimes referred to by their sanskrit name of Arhat, are generally considered to be disciples of the historical Buddha, and in Japan are often found collectively as a group of 500 statues.

One of their features is that every single face is different with a different expression, and that you will be able to find at least one that reminds you of someone you know.

In the rakan hall of Jizoji, temple number 5 of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, there are nowhere near 500 of them, but they are unusually large.

On my first morning walking the Shikoku Fudo Myo Pilgrimage I started at Jizoji before heading up the mountain to the first Fudo temple.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Kaiganji, temple 29 on the Kyushu Pilgrimage

Located in a small fishing village at the edge of Tsukimi on the coast of southern Oita, Kaiganji is the 29th of the 108 Shingon temples on the Kyushu Pilgrimage and was quite a surprise with a wide range of statuary and features.

I am always fascinated by the eclectic groupings of god, buddhas, mythical creatures, and pop characters found at small shrines.........

One building was very much in a SE Asian style and enshrined a Yaku Yoke Taishi for the prevention of personal disasters.....

The wooden fish "gong" was quite impressive...... nowadays often only found at Zen temples.....

A Kannon on the edge of a pond,.... a large white elephant,..... a small shrine in a cave above the temple..... quite a range of unusual things to see......

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Traditional Boathouses at Tsuma

Funa-Goya are traditional boathouses found all over the Oki Islands, but at Tsuma on the SW coast of Dogo is a collection that are most famous and a sightseeing spot.

Several dozen connected boathouses curve around the waterfront and are quite picturesque.

They are still in use today.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Nioza Historical Road

Nioza Historical Road

Nioza is the old district of the former castle town of Usuki in Oita. One of the narrow lanes is stone paved and winds around a slope.

Sometimes called a samurai district, there are a few samurai homes, but also a lot of temples and merchant quarters.

One of the former temples has been converted into a "rest area" for visitors and puts on seasonal displays. When I as there it was dolls.

If you are in Usuki it is certainly worth a look see, but not worth making a special journey.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Nachi Taisha

Kumano Nachi Taisha is one of the three Kumano shrines that are the focus of the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage routes in the Kii peninsula of Wakayama.

The Nachi Taisha complex is on a hillside overlooking Nachi Waterfall, the highest in Japan, and an object of veneration since ancient times.

It is believed that the shrine was originally closer to the falls. The identity of the kami enshrined is quite complex.

Seiganto-ji temple was part of the complex until being somewhat separated from the shrine.