Monday, July 26, 2021

Ariake Naritasan Taishoji Temple 101 Kyushu Pilgrimage


As I approached the 101st temple of the Kyushu pilgrimage I was not sure I was at the right place as it really didn(t look like a temple at all. To my untrained eye it looked quite Chinese and possible SE Asian in design. The whole place, except for a small Daishi-do, was made out of concrete, which is actually not that unusual.

It's a branch of the famous Naritasan temple up in Chiba and like the mother temple, Fudo Myo is the honzon. I&s not a very old temple, but seems to be very popular judging by the size of the car park.

In the car park was a "chapel" devoted to blessings for vehicles and drivers, which leads me to believe a focus of the temple, and a reason for its popularity, is on Genze Riyaku, which translates roughy as "this-worldly benefits".

That is to say a focus on services for attracting health, wealth, success, and protection against any kind of misfortune.. Though Buddhism in Japan is said to be funerary-based, and "shinto" is said to be nature based, both religions focus a lot on genze riyaku.

Visiting was a somewhat strange experience.

The main hall of the temple is triangular in shape, the first time I can ever recollect seeing such a shape in temple buildings.

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