Friday, June 21, 2024

Hikasaji Temple 32 Iwami Ginzan Kannon pilgrimage


Hikasaji is a small, Soto Zen temple about one kilometer upstream from my village. I was walking day 6 of my walk along the Iwami Mandal Kannon pilgrimage. heading upriver to the next couple of temples on that pilgrimage.

Hikasaji is not on that pilgrimage, but is temple 32 on the Iwami Ginzan Kannon pilgrimage, a recently rediscovered pilgrimage route from the Edo period.

In the early Edo period the Tokugawa government took over the silver mine at Iwami Ginzan and made it their territory. It encompassed all the land from this side of the Gonokawa River up to the border with Izumo. The Iwami Kannon pilgrimage I have been walking covers all of the Iwami area including the other side of the river. I am guessing the new Iwami Ginzan Kannon pilgrimage dates back to then.

I can find no information on when Hikasaji was founded. The Kannon statue that was the honzon no longer exists, but there is a newish Kannon statue on the grounds.

The temple gate is quite nice, and there is also a small bell tower.

The documents about the old Ginzan pilgrimage were recently discovered in an old storehouse belonging to a former samurai family a few more kilometers upstream near to the next temple I will stop at.

The previous post in this series on day 6 of my walk was on the koinobori hanging across the river in front of the temple.

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