Sunday, April 28, 2019

Drowned Buddhas

Tadaji, an old temple in the hills outside Hamada has a rather strange collection of wooden statues in their main hall.

They were fished out of the sea on the coast down below the temple, and had obviously spent some time in the water. More than likely they had been thrown into the sea, or a river, during the Haibutsu Kishaku, the "destroy Buddhism" campaign in the late 19th Century.

The campaign was officially rescinded, and many areas did not really go along with it, but some places went for it with a vengeance. The Oki Islands, for instance, destroyed every single Buddhist temple.

Experts say some of these statues probably date from the Kamakura Period and so are quite old. The current along the coast comes from the west so these statues were put in the water further west, down in Yamaguchi or somewhere near there......


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