Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Nyoirin-ji-Temple-3 on the Kyushu Pilgrimage


Temple number 3 on the Kyushu pilgrimage is Nyoirinji in Ogori, southern Fukuoka. Because of how I planned my route I did not visit it until day 55, about three-quarters of my way along the walk.

All 108 temples of the pilgrimage belong to the Shingon sect, one of the 2 ancient esoteric sects, and consequently many of the deities have their roots in Hinduism.

The temple is named after the honzon, a Nyoirin Kannon, the "wish-fulfilling" Kannon, one of 6 main manifestations of Kannon, derived from the word nyoi, the wish-fulfilling jewel.

The honzon here is a "hidden buddha" and is only open to public view every 12 years. It is very unusual because it is standing and most Nyoirin Kannon are seated.

The grounds contain numerous halls and shrines, including this one to Benzaiten.

Founded in the first half of the 8th century by the famous monk Gyoki. Some say he carved the honzon, but other sources say it was much later in the Heian period. The temple was burned down at the emnd of the 16th century but later rebuilt.

I had wanted to speak with the priest as his son had told me that he had walked this pilgrimage,  but it was early January and was very crowded. The temple is also popular in July when the grounds are filled with wind chimes.

The temple is most famous for its collection of thousands of frog statues and has the nickname Frog Temple.


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