Showing posts with label buddhas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label buddhas. Show all posts

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Usuki Stone Buddhas

Just outside the old castle town of Usuki in southern Oita are a collection of truly magnificent Buddhist stone carvings known as the Usuki Stone Buddhas.

Carved into cliff faces and overhangs about 60 different statues are grouped together into 4 different clusters. 59 of them are registered as National Treasures.

The carvings were believed to have been made almost 1,000 years ago in the 12th century and because they are carved into fairly soft rock have suffered a lot of erosion since then. They have been somewhat restored and are now protected from the weather.

Most interesting is that they were originally painted and on some of the carvings the traces of pigment are still clearly visible......

Yuzukosho (yuzu pepper) is a signature product from Usuki

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Stone Buddhas of Oita City

While not as impressive nor numerous as the stone Buddhas to the south of Oita City in Usuki or to the north in the Kunisaki Penisula, There are some example of stone buddhas, ie relief carving directly in rock, in Oita City.

To the south of the modern downtown area is the old town of Motomachi, and along a short historical walk that takes in some old temples and shrines are a few examples.

The one shown here are the Motomachi Stone Buddhas and the Iwayaji Temple Stone Buddhas.

They havent been restored, but they cost nothing to view. If you are in Oita then the historic walk is a nice break.

Yuzukosho (yuzu pepper) is a signature product from Usuki & Hita

Friday, November 13, 2015

Biggest Reclining Buddha in Japan

Nehanzo, reclining Buddhas, are the least common pose for statues of Buddha in Japan. At Nanzo-in temple in Sasaguri, Fukuoka, there is what is certainly the largest bronze Nehanzo in Japan.

Its dimensions are impressive. 41 meters long, and 11 meters high, it weighs about 300 tons, more than three times as heavy as the Great Buddha in Nara, it is among the biggest bronze statues of the world.

It was completed in 1995 to house some of the historical Buddhas ashes which had been donated to the temple from Myanmar, where Nehanzo are much more common.

Nehan means "nirvana", and statues of the reclining Buddha depict him at the moment of his death when he entered Nirvana.

There is a lot more to see at Nanzoin which I will post soon....

2023 EDIT. I remember reading not long before the Covid pandemic hit that Nanzoin had reacted strongly to industrial-scale tourism, specifically cruise ship tour groups, with some restrictions on visitors. Apparently, any group visit must be arranged in advance, but for individual visits, there are restrictions on what clothing is allowed, and strangely that visible tattoos are not allowed.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Magaibutsu of Kunisaki


magaibutsu are buddhist carvings carved directly into cliff faces or rock outcroppings or cave walls rather than carved out of a piece of stone. Magaibutsu never became as poular in japan as they were on the Asian mainland, but they can be found all over Japan. Most however are found in the Kunisaki peninsular of northern Kysushu. This first one is of Dainichi Nyorai and is 6 meters tall.


Right next to it is this 8 meter tall carving of Fudo Myo o, and together they are known as the Kumano Magaibutsu. they are believed to be the oldest and biggest magaibutsu in japan.


Another large one is this one of Fudo Myo with two attendants on a river. Its 3.2 meters high.


There are many many more smaller ones scattered all over the peninsulat


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Buddhas, Jizo, & other statues of Kunisaki 1


The Kunisaki peninsular is home to an uncountable number of buddhist statues, mostly made of stone.


Some are by the roadside, and some are in the grounds of temples, but many are at the sites frequented by Yamabushi, the mountain ascetics who lived and visited here.


Some are carved directly into the rock itself, but many are placed in the man-made caves that were used by the ascetics for their meditation practices.


There are a bewildering array of characters in the Buddhist pantheon. As well as various buddhas there are numerous bodhisatvas as well as saints, disciples, and other deities often derived from hindu deities.


Its only recently that I have started to visit buddhist sites, mainly for an interest in the statuary and other art.


I am beginning to recognize some of the figures, but the identity of others still eludes me.


It is my hope that one day I can return to kunisaki and follow the old pilgrim trail as there are for sure many wonders to be found off the beaten track.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cave of 1000 Buddhas


The Cave of 1,000 Buddhas is another of the "attractions" at Kosan-Ji on Ikuchijima in Hiroshima Prefecture.


One descends into a labyrinth of underground caves and tunnels past a series of tableaux and depictions of buddhist hells.


Then one enters the realm of the buddhas.


The caves and tunnels are all man-made.


One emerges back into the light at the foot of a giant statue of Kannon.