Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Toyogahashi Bangai 8 on the Shikoku Ohenro


Eitokuji is a small temple between temples 43 and 44. immediately adjacent to a bridge, Toyogahashi.

It is the eighth bangai site on the pilgrimage. I have never read a convincing explanation why there are 88 temples on the pilgrimage. 88 is not a significant number in Buddhism. However, when you add twenty extra temples, known as bangai, you end up with 108 which is a significant number in Buddhism.

Some of the bangai temples entail a diversion from the main route, and most pilgrims don't visit them. However, some, like Toyogahashi, are directly on the main route, and so most pilgrims stop.

Underneath the bidge is a big altar, with the focus being a statues of Kobo Daishi asleep. The statue was wrapped in a new, thick, duvet when I was there.

According to the legend, Kobo Daishi could not find lodgings for the night and so had to spend the night under the bridge. From this legend come the tradition that pilgrims do not hit the floor when crossing bridges as Kobo Daishi may be sleeping underneath.

The temple has a small tsuyado, so that is where I spent the night.

1 comment: