Monday, June 22, 2020

Hachiman Daibosatsu


After visiting Hojoji, temple 46 on the Kyushu Pilgrimage, I headed east along route 263 and a few kilometers out in the country came to temple 48, Satsumayakushi Temple. It was a very new and modern main hall, and the honzon, a Yakushi Nyorai statue, was transferred here from Koyasan.

There was a hot spring facility in the temple grounds, owned by the temple I suspect, but most intriguing was the red torii that led to an overhang in the rock wall into which had been cut a couple of altars. The first was to Hachiman Daibiosatsu.

Hachiman was a very important kami with strong links to Buddhism. Originally a north Kyushu kami with connection to Korean immigrants, Hachiman rose to prominence as a protector of Todaiji, the great national temple established in Nara.

Hachiman was the first "kami" to be given the rank and title of Daibosatsu, Great Bodhisattva" and statues of Hachiman were not uncommon in earlier days. Next to the altar for Hachiman was another small altar.

The figure on the left is I believe Bato Kannon, the Horse-head Kannon, and the figure on the right seems to be Benzaiten holding a lute.

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