Showing posts with label 3 monkeys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 3 monkeys. Show all posts

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Ogori Hiyoshi Shrine

Ogori Hiyoshi Jinja

Monkeys are the messengers of Hiyoshi shrines, so its not surprising that at the Ogori Hiyoshi Shrine in Ogori, Fukuoka,  there are monkey statues around the grounds.

It is one of almost 4,000 branches around Japan of Hiyoshi Taisha located at the base of Mount Hiei in Shiga.

Before the Meiji period many of the Hiyoshi shrines were called Hie Shrine or Sanno Shrine, as the shrine was based on the Sanno cult, or Mountain King.

The cult was a kami cult based on Tendai Buddhism and the main kami was Oyamakui, and when the imperial court moved to the area temporarily in the late 7th century (in fear of attacks from Korea), Okuninushi was added, though as the area was earlier settled by Korean immigrants there was certainly Korean "kami" in the mix also.

The main building of the Ogori Hiyoshi Shrine had some really nice carvings.

The shrine seemed to be quite popular which usually indicates "this worldly benefits" and several of the monkey statues had babies. There was also a tall tree that had split into two trunks, commonly a symbol of marriage.

There was also a set of statues of the # Wise Monkeys, and while they are not purely of Sanno Shinto origin, several of the strands that make up their origin in Japan have strong Tendai connections.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Honmyoji Temple


At the end of the long approach to Honmyoji Temple, visitors arrive at the Chuomon gate which, to me, looks quite Chinese in design and style. Honmyoji belongs to the Nichiren sect and is the highest-ranking temple of the sect in Kyushu. It was founded by the famous warrior Kato Kiyomasa who was a fervent follower of Nichiren.

It was originay founded by Kiyomasa in Osaka in 1585 to console the spirit of his deceased father, In 1600 the teple was relocated to within the grounds of Kumamoto Castle where Kiyomasa was based. In 1611 Kiyomasa was buried in a grave on the hilltop above where the temple now stands, looking over Kumamototo the castle.

The temple was moved to its present site in 1614. The current main hall however ony dates back to 1884, being rebuilt after it was burned down during the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877. There is a museum devoted to Kiyomasa in the temple grounds. 

The temple and the park around the grave on the hilltop are very popular during the cherry blossom season, and on the last weekend, in March the cherry trees and the approach road up to the temple are illuminated.