Friday, April 6, 2018

Bone Buddhas

When I first heard about Bone Buddhas, Okutsu Butsu, I imagined statues made out of whole bones, shins, ribs etc but that is not what they are. They are made out of crushed bones. The first is believed to be from the early 18th Century and was made by mixing crushed bones with clay, but the most famous ones are at Isshinji Temple in Osaka and are made by casting a mixture of crushed bone and resin.

Since the late 19th Century, when the temple began to run out of space to store the cremains , they have made a dozen statues of Amida, but six were destroyed during the war. The ashes of about 150,000 went into each one.

The head priest at Isshinji is also an architect, and he designed the very unusual main gate into the temple.

The temple is located near Tennoji Park, and not visited much by tourists, but the place is usually very busy.


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