Saturday, May 21, 2022

Art of Tanjoji Temple

 


Temples are, like churches and cathedrals in the West, repositories of art. One of the delights of visiting them is to explore and find interesting statues, carvings etc. Tanjoji Temple in Okayama was pretty good in this regard, with quite a range of things to see. The statue above is an Amida Buddha, the focus of the school of Buddhism founded by Honen who was born on this spot.


I visited the temple while walking the Chugoku Kannon Pilgrimage, and ths is the Kannon statue. It was carved by Jigaku Daishi and enshrined in 1631. It is now called the Oshichi Kannon after Oshichi, a 16 year old girl executed for arson after a major fire in Edo. The subject of many books and play, Oshichi's story can be found here at Gabi Greve's wonderful site....


Onigawara are "demon tiles" found on the roofs of some temples and other buildings. In situ they are hard to see as they are up on the roof, but often you will find older versions from previous versions of the buildings are ondislay, like here. Intriguing is the diversity of designs.


One of the most ubiquitous sights all over Japan are small statues of Jizo with their trademark caps and bibs.


Above the entrance to many temple and shrine buildings can be found relief carvings of dragons. Usually of a quite standard design, this one is somewhat more expressive....


Sometimes..... when I'm lucky,.... powerful compositions simply present themselves to me....


This is said to be the largest Buddha statue in Okayama, and is a Nationally-registered Important Cultural ropert, but have no details on it.


Long time readers of this blog know that I am quite obsessed with Fudo Myo, and this single example at Tanjoji was in the Kannon Hall.


These are , I suspext, statues of rakan, disciples of the Buddha, also in the Kannn Hall.

2 comments:

  1. Yes indeed, that photo is an exceptionally powerful composition. Certainly worthy of sale.

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  2. wonderful details, thanks so much !

    ReplyDelete