Thursday, October 21, 2021

Yet More Deities at Myo-on-ji Temple


This is the 4th and final post on Myo-on-ji temple. It is not a famous temple, nor particularly ancient or large. However, it does have a large number of statues in numerous small shrines, due to the fact that it is a pilgrimage temple on the Sasaguri 88 temple pilgrimage in Fukuoka.

Myo-on-ji was the 11th temple we had visited since starting to walk the pilgrimage. It had raken just under 2 hours since starting at Sasaguri Station, and by now I had come to realize that there were going to be a lot of very diverse statuary tp be seen over the next 4 days.

I started out by posting some photos of Fudo Myo, one of my favorite deities, and a figure that is very common on this pilgrimage. So much so that my second post was a much larger selection of Fudo statues at Myo-on-ji, with one of my wordiest posts where I try to explain the complexity and diversity of Japanese deity identities. The third post was on a variety of statues of Kannon, another very popular deity, technically a bodhisattva.

This time I show another group of statues, mostly multi-armed, multi-headed, fierce deities that originated in India. The top photo is Aizen Myo, among other things associated with sex and love. The next three might be various Myo..... or not..... If I was to dig into it I might be able to say with some certainty the names and classifications of these deities, but I don't have the time. Probably some readers would know.

Statues of snakes, often with offerings of coins, are commonly associated with Benzaiten, the complex Buddhist-Shinto deity that among other things is often associated with water and many times is conflated with Suijin, the water god. I have also seen these snake statues at altars to Kojin the land god in Izumo.

Thgis final photo is another deity I cannot immediately identify. though for some reason I seem to think it might actually be a Bato kannon......

From Myo-on-ji the pilgrimage route heads up into the mountains and the temples ar further apart, but some are much bigger than any yet visited...

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