Thursday, August 31, 2023

Daion-ji Temple Nagasaki


Continuing north along Teramachi from Daikoji Temple, the next big temple is Daionji.

It was founded in 1614 and belongs to the Jodo, or Pure Land Sect, founded by Honen, and the honzon is another Amida.

During the Edo Period, the temple was considered one of the Three Major Temples of Nagasaki. The priest who founded it, Denyo Sekitotsu, was another of the Five Nagasaki Monks.

The temple buildings survived the atomic bombing, but were destroyed later by arson. A small brick arch dates back to about 1868.

The Sanmon Gate houses statues of the Shitenno rather than Nio.

Other than the colorful Shitenno statues and a lovely weeping Plum tree in full bloom in mid February, there is not a lot to see. For the historically minded the cemetery has the grave of Yasuhide Matsudaira, the Nagasaki Magistrate who committed suicide to atone for allowing an English ship into Nagasaki in 1808.

The previous post in this series on day 60 of my Kyushu Pilgrimage was the neighboring Daikoji Temple.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Tomogaura Tomokan


Tomokan is the name given to a couple of refurbished buildings in the tiny fishing village of Tomogaura, part of the World Heritage Sites of the Iwami Ginzan Silver Mines as it was one of the ports that serviced the mines.

It is thought they were originally built in the early to mid 19th century. The outbuilding is open all year round and has exhibitions connected to the port and the route to the mine.

The main house is only open from March through November. Tomokan is unmanned and free to enter.

If you are in the area then it is a good opportunity to look around a small, traditional home. My house was built about a hundred years later but used a similar construction . What is unusual is that both buildings are completely clad in sheets of cedar bark.

I earlier posted on the old harbour itself.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Daikoji Temple Nagasaki


Daikoji is a very large temple along Teramachi in Nagasaki. It was established in 1614 and belongs to the Jodo Shinshu sect. The honzon is an Amida Nyorai.

Just inside the first gate is a statue of Shinran ( 1173-1263 ) the founder of the Jodo Shinshu sect, currently the largest in Japan, and known in English as True Pure Land.

Daikoji was established by the monk Keiryo and is a branch of the Nishi Hoinganji Temple in Kyoto. It was moved to its current location in 1660. He is known as one of the Five Nagasaki Monks, who, I am guessing, represented different sects and were tasked by the government with re-establishing Buddhism in Nagasaki after Chritianity was outlawed.

There is actually very little to see at Daikoji. For the historically-minded, the cemetery has the tombs of the Motoki family who were Dutch interpreters, and during Saigo's Satsuma Rebellion officers of the Imperial army lodged here.

The bell tower is striking in that the mud walls have not been plastered.

The previous post was on next door's Shofukuji Temple Gate.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Tomogaura World Heritage Site


Tomogaura is a small fishing harbour in a narrow inlet and is part of the Iwami Ginzan World Heritage Site.

In the 16th century it was one of three ports used to service the mine and take out the mined silver. When the Tokugawa government took over the mine at the start of the 17th century it continued to be used to service the mines, but the silver was taken out overland to Onomichi on the Inland Sea.

It was the closest port to the mine, and is believed to have been the first. The 7k  route from the port to the mine is also part of the World Heritage Site.

The other two ports were Okidomari and Yunotsu. where I had left early this morning on this walk.

Right next to Tomogaura, now accessible through a small tunnel in the cliff is the expanse of Kotogahama Beach. The previous post in this series documenting my walk along the Sea of Japan coast was the walk from Yuminato Harbour.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Sofukuji Temple Ryugumon


The main gate to Sofukuji Temple in Nagasaki must be one of the most photographed sites in the city. Ryugumon means Dragon Palace Gate.

The temple was built in 1629 with much of the architecture built and transported from China.

The Ryugumon was originally built in 1673 but was damaged and rebuilt several times. The current gate dates back to 1849.

Sofukuji is one of four big Chinese temples built in the early 17th century and belongs to the Obaku Zen sect.

Another of these temples, Kofukuji, lies to the north, and between it and Sofukuji is Nagasaki Teramachi, a line of temples set against the hillside.

The next temple on the Kyushu Pilgrimage is in Teramachi and this was where I was heading on Day 60.

The previous post was on one of the Chinese shrines, Tenkodo, in the old Chinese district of Tojin Yashiki.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Hagio Amida-do Temple 47 Sasaguri Pilgrimage


Hagio is a small farming settlement in a mountain valley above Sasaguri in Fukuoka. It is said that the inhabitants are descended from samurai who hid out here and returned to farming after their lord was defested.

I passed through Hagio on the way up the mountainside on the first day of walking the Sasaguri Pilgrimage. There is a cluster of three pilgrimage temples in the village, 2 of which, Raionji, and Yakushido, I had stopped in at on my way up the mountain.

Now on my way down after visiting the group of temples higher up in the mountains centred around Nomiyama Kannonji, I stopped in at the third, Amida-do.

There was a fire in the village back in 1883 that caused the principle Amida statues to break into three pieces and so it was replaced with a new one, though to the right of it the original is still on view.

A little further downhill and the route branches off this road and heads toward the Narafuchi Dam and Sasaguri.

The previous post in this series on the Sasaguri Pilgrimage was Tenno-in temple 36.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Fukken Hall Tenkodo Shrine


The main gate to Fukken Hall which was built originally in 1868, after the Tojin Yashiki was dismantled.

It was built as a meeting place for Chinese traders from Fujian Province and had a Tenkodo shrine built with it.

The main hall did not survive the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, but the main gate and Tenkodo Shrine did.

Like the other Tenkodo Shrine inside the old Tojin Yashiki compound, this one also enshrines Mazu, the goddess worshipped by Chinese sailors for safety at sea.

For more than forty years after the Dutch were confined to Dejima, the Chinese sailors and traders coming to Nagasaki pretty much were free to go where they wished. Even after the construction of the Tojin Yashiki compound in 1689 the Chinese had more freedom of movement outside the compound, often bought by bribing officials, to visit the various Chinese temples in the town and to conduct business. When the government clamped down in the 1820's rioting ensued.

The previous posts on the shrines of Tojin Yashiki are on the Kannondo Shrine, the Dojindo Shrine, and the other Tenkodo Shrine.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Umeda Architecture Snapshots


The high-rise buildings of Umeda in downtown Osaka may be quite familiar to many visitors, but because I live deep in the countryside and rarely visit cities the sights are quite unfamiliar Japan to me and very fascinating.

The cluster of seven temples that comprise the start of the Kinki Fudo Myo Pilgrimage are all located in central Osaka and after visiting the 7th, Settsu Kokubunji, in the afternoon of my second day walking, it was now time to head West towards Kobe where temple 8 lay.

I had a hotel room booked for the night in Nishinomiya so I had no time to explore or engage in any kind of photographic study of the architecture, just snapshots as I passed by.

This is the Umekita Ship Hall, a commercial property on the northside of JR Osaka Station. It was designed by Nikken Sekkei

The unique Umeda Sky Building, designed by Hiroshi Hara, seen from a distance.

A replica of a medieval Belgian church on the 8th floor of the Hotel Monterey Osaka.

The previous post in this series on the Kinki Fudo Myo Pilgrimage was Settsu Kokubunji Temple.