Sunday, June 2, 2024

Kurokamizan Saikomitsu Temple 69 Kyushu pilgrimage


Mount Kurokami is a more than 450-meter high mountain between Takeo and Arita in Saga that has been a site of mountain worship since ancient times.

Just below the peak is Saikomitsu Temple, and from it steps lead up to Kurokami Shrine connected to the defeat of a giant serpent.

The temple is very small now and normally unmanned but the day I visited was the day before a ceremony was to be held and so a cleaner was busy preparing.

Before Kobo Daishi left from nearby Hirado on his journey to China he climbed the mountain and prayed for a safe journey. On his return in 806 he came back to the mountain and carved a small Fudo Myo statue and established the temple.

The temple became very important and in its heyday had 80 temples under its control and was a major Shugendo site.

However, in 1878 a major fire burned down almost all the structures and it was decided to move the temple to Sasebo.

The Kobo Daishi Fudo statue, said to be carved using his fingernails, is now the honzon of .Daishi-in Temple in Sasebo. which I had visited a few days earlier.

The honzon of the current Saikomitsu temple is a Yakushi, an Amida, and a Kannon, all hidden.

There are numerous statues around the small building including several Fudo's. They all had plenty of fresh-cut flowers obviously getting ready for the next day.

However, the best was yet to come as a little further down the mountain was another small statue and an enormous Fudo Myo carved into the cliff face......

The previous post in this series on my first Kyushu pilgrimage was a .Brief Guide to Arita.

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