Showing posts with label daikoku. Show all posts
Showing posts with label daikoku. Show all posts

Saturday, January 27, 2024

The Art of Taisanji Temple


Like most of the temples on major pilgrimages, Taisanji, temple 52 on the Shikoku pilgrimage has plenty of art adorning the buildings and grounds.

The Nio Gate is about 600 meters from the temple grounds. Rebuilt in 1305,at  the same time as the main hall, it contains 2 striking Nio guardians.

At the next gate, at the entrance to the main temple complex, there are 4 statues of the Shitenno, the four heavenly kings.

It is not uncommon to find temple gates with the four shitenno

Inside the bell tower are paintings depicting Enma and the other judges of hell and scenes of the tortures and sufferings awaiting those going to hell...

Ema, votive plaques, are a religious practice common to both shrines and temples. There were a variety of different designs at Taisanji, but I was attracted to theFudo.....

traces of pigment can still be seen in this example of relief carving....

Not sure who this statue is, but to my untrained eye it seems to be almost an Indian-style statue...

Small statues of Daikoku, one of the Seven Lucky Gods, can often be found at the ends of roof ridges, or, like here, on a wall toed with kawara.

To me, this final statue aears to be done in Korean style.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

More Ebisu on the Hita Kaido


A few days ago I posted 7 shots of Ebisu statues I found along the Hita Kaido while walking day 52 of my walk around Kyushu. There were A LOT of Ebisu staties. here are another seven. That was not all I saw in this one day, and if I had gone looking I am sure I would have found even more.

Usually depicted with a Sea Bream tucked under his left arm, ad a fishing rod in his right, this suggests that Ebisu was originally a fishing god, but by the Edo period, when these statues probably date, he was more well known as one of the Seven Lucky Gods.

Among the Seven Lucky Gods, Ebisu is singled out as being the only Japanese god of the seven. He is very often paired with Daikokuten. Originally a Hindu deity, Daikoku is written with the same Chinese characters as Okuni, so he became equated with Okuninushi. Okuninushi's son, Kotoshironushi, is featured in the ancient myths as always fishing, so the two became equated with Daikoku and Ebisu.

The Meiji government cemented this identification when they decided that the head shrine for Ebisu in Japan was to be Miho Jinja. Located in Mihonoseki at the tip of the Shimane peninsula, a site where Kotoshironushi enjoyed fishing.

In the Kansai region,  a different origin of Ebisu is given. In the origin myths, the first child born to Izanami and Izanagi was Hiruko, the "Leech Child". Born deformed, it was determined that this was caused by Izanami, the female, speaking first in their wedding ritual. They redid their wedding "correctly" and all future children were born OK. Hiruko was cast out in a boat and is believed to have landed on Awaji Island.

The characters for Hiruko can also be read as Ebisu. Ebisu is also an old name to refer to foreigners and in the north of Japan some stories suggest that Ebisu was a "foreign" god of the Emishi/Aimu.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Kyushu Pilgrimage Temple 43 Hojo-in

Monday, July 29th 2013, the 29th day of my walk around Kyushu on the 108 temple Shingon Pilgrimage. I leave Hayato and head south to reach the northern edge of Kagoshima Bay.

The first port of call is in Kajiki, Hojo-in, a small temple. As is often the case in these small temples there was no-one home for me to ask questions, like the story behind the statue head enshrined in front of the main hall.

These small temples often have nothing much special to attract visitors, but I am usually able to find something interesting. I am guessing this is a small statue of Daikoku, though I have never seen one like it with him standing on three bales of rice rather than the usual two.

I have never found out the purpose of the small windmills placed in front of Mizuko Jizo statues. Mizuko Jizo is a fairly modern phenomenon, a Jizo for children who have passed, but in most cases for abortions.

The rest of the day did not go well, and if you wish you can read my rant about being a pedestrian in Japan here.....

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Hyuga Ichinomiya Tsuno Shrine

On the afternoon of my 20th day walking the Kyushu Pilgrimage  I passed under a large torii that straddled the road, and soon came into Tsuno Shrine, the Ichinomiya, that is to say, the highest ranked shrine in the former Hyuga Province, now Miyazaki Prefecture.

It was a very large shrine with extensive grounds, woods, and a koi and lily pond as well as numerous secondary shrines. What was surprising was the main kami enshrined here,.. Okuninushi. Being Hyuga one might have expected Ninigi, the grandson of Amaterasu sent from the High Plain of heaven to rule Japan, or his descendant Jimmu, the mythical first Emperor, but these kami only really became elevated in the Meiji period when they became an obsession with the nationalists trying to create a state-based "shinto".

I never did find out why Okuninushi, an Izumo kami, was the main one. There was a small shrine to Daikoku, one of the imported 7 Lucky Gods, who because his name is the same characters as Okuninushi are often equated together.

There were also plenty of heart-shaped ema because Okuninushiis now considered the god of enmusubi, especially finding a lover.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Ebisu & Daikoku Kote-e

Kote-e are a traditional type of plaster relief often found on storehouses, temples etc. A kote is a type of spatula-shaped trowel used to work plaster, so kote-e means "trowel pictures"

Not purely for decoration, the symbols used in the kote-e were either to ward of misfortune, commonly fire, or , as in the case of the pictures here, to attract good fortune.

Ebisu and Daikoku are both members of the ' Lucky Gods of Japan", and have long been associated with commercial success and wealth. The picture here were taken in Usuki, Oita. Though kote-e can be found all over Japan, Oita does seem to have a lot.

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

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Shikoku Pilgrimage Temple 34 Tanema-ji


Tanema-ji, which means "seed sowing temple" is temple number 24 of the pilgrinmage. The name refers to a legend that Kukai planted 5 kinds of seeds that he brought back from China.

It is said that Kukai founded the temple though the honzon, a Yakushi Nyorai, is supposedly carved by a Korean monk centuries before Kukai.

The temple is famous for women who pray here for a safe childbirth to the Kosodate Kannon. Hung around the statue are dippers that have had their base removed and placed here by women whose prayers were answered.

Having been destroyed by typhoons numerous times, none of the architecture is particularly noteworthy.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Shohoji Frogs


There were a lot of frogs at Shohoji, temple 93 on the Kyushu Pilgrimage. The word for "frog", kaeru, is the word for "return", and so there is an association between frogs and returning safely.


The first photo is a very stylized statue of a frog covered in prayer requests. I would have thought the prayers would have concentrated on safe returns but in fact the full gamut of requests is represented:- passing exams, finding a girlfriend etc etc. This second photo is of Daikoku in the form of a frog.


Shohoji is known as "Child Frog Temple", with temple number 3, Nyorinji, being the "Parent Frog Temple". I will be getting to that temple much later in the pilgrimage. The priest at Shohoji is the son of the priest at Nyorinji.


The honzon of the temple is Yakushi Nyorai, the Medicine Buddha. In a secondary hall was I think an Amida statue and hundreds of childrens toy frogs including none other than Kermit.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Kitayama Shrine, Mount Wakasugi


Located right on top of Mount Wakasugi at about 660 meters above sea level, the maps and many people call it Kitayama Shrine, but it is really the Upper Taiso-gu shrine. The lower Taiso-gu I stopped in at on my way up the mountain.


Not surprisingly it seems to have the same set of kami enshrined as at the lower shrine, the main one being Izanagi, along with Amaterasu, and Hachiman.


All around the shrine are Buddhist statues and shrines as the Okunoin where Kukai supposedly practised austerities is in a cave just below the shrine. It was usually Buddhists or Yamabushi who established shrines on mountaintops like this.


There is a large, white statue of the mythical Jingu, mother of Ojin, and a curious statue of Daikoku with an extreme smile....


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Monjuin Statues


Monjuin is a small temple located right next to Myo-oin on Wakasugi Mountain in Fukuoka. At first I thought it was ust part of Myo-oin. What little I have been able to find out about it is a little confusing, but it is probably a fairly new temple.


It is a Shingon temple, and part of the 24 temple Jizo Pilgrimage of Kyushu, which is who I think the first statue is. There was a shrine to Benzaiten as well.


The figure on the right is certainly Kannon, and the middle one Jizo


Not sure who the three-headed figure is,... there are three headed Buddhas, three headed Kannons, as well as various other deities/boddhistavas, etc


There were statues of the 7 lucky gods, and also another statue of Daikoku.....