Showing posts with label frogs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label frogs. Show all posts

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Frog Temple Nyoirin-ji

Frog Otera

Nyoirinji, a venerable and ancient Buddhist temple in Ogori, Fukuoka, is known as Kaeru Dera, or Frog Temple.

It has earned this unusual nickname by being home to about 5,000 small statues, figurines, and other representations of frogs.

This "tradition" started more than 25 years ago when the head priest returned from a trip to China and brought a small jade frog carving with him.

In Japanese the word for frog, kaeru, is also the word for "return", and so frogs have been linked with the notion of returning safely, and with coming back.

As is now very common in contemporary Japanese culture, an awful lot of the frog figures here are "cute".

Inside there are several versions of Kermit, the famous Sesame Street character....

But not all the frogs descend into cuteness...

Many of the statues have accrued specific meanings for a variety of "this worldly benefits".

previously I posted on the wide variety of Fudo Myo statues here at Nyoirinji, and next, I will post on the temple's history and other attractions.

Ema Votive Plaques

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Diverse statuary at Kosenji Temple

Kosenji Temple in Ebino, Miyazaki has a wide range of statues on display inside and out. Flanking the large Fudo MyoO statue were a pair of very stylized Tanuki statues, the one on the left being obviously male.Not sure of their relationship with Fudo though.

There were several "child-like" Jizo. Known as guardian of deceased children, many have this child-like appearance, but seems to me to be more a part of the general "kawaii" culture that is such a large part of contemporary Japanese culture....

There was a fairly standard statue of Kannon, a deity which has many forms. One forms sees young children around her, but here there were frogs.

The frog is called kaeru in japanese, which is also the same word for "return", so commonly frog statues are a kind of good luck charm for returning safely from a journey etc....

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Meet the Neighbours

The noise of my neighbours in the forest behind my house yesterday has prompted me to post some photos of some of them. earlier posts have lost their photos and it is too much trouble to have to go through and edit and repost.

Many of my neighbours, members of my community, are not human. There is a big troop of monkeys that visit regularly. It has been entertaining to watch them and learn a little of their habits and behaviours, but their tendency to treat my garden as a supermarket does tee me off sometimes.

Tanuki are also very commonly seen, these were photoed right outside my living room. They are fairly shy and cause no damage to my life. Often I will also see badgers, foxes, and civets passing through by my house on their rounds.

Several species of frog and toad are welcome visitors. In the garden they eat bugs, and they in turn are eaten by snakes and birds. When tilling I will often disturb ones hibernating in the cold weather. When the rice paddies are flooded in late spring the noise of their calling reverberates within our narrow, steep valley and can be quite deafening.

Mostly living below the house, though regularly found running around inside, are giant centipedes. They are quite poisonous so I will usually kill them at the request of my wife. Usually traveling in mated pairs, when one has been caught it is best to be extra vigilant until its partner is found.

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.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Seen along the way


One of the pleasures of walking alone is the opportunities to encounter other creatures. On the second day of my Shikoku Pilgrimage I came across this kamakiri, Praying Mantis. All the ones I had seen before were green and I have no idea why this one was brown, Maybe it was old, maybe it was male,.... more info on kamakiri can be found here


This little frog was ensconced in the coin-return lever of a drinks vending machine. I used the correct change so didnt need to disturb it.....


While taking a rest at Fujiidera another kamakiri explored my backpack.


While enjoying the view from my campsite this pair of grasshoppers/crickets/locusts..... having some difficulty identifying exactly what they are. Whatever they are, what they are doing is obvious enough. One of the species, called batta in Japanese, was the inspiration for the kids TV show character Kamenrider. Other sources describe them as Inago, a very popular food source in past times, though still available nowadays, most japanese have not eaten them.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Season of the Frog Part 2: Egrets


With the flooding of the paddies in late spring, there is an explosion of frogs. This has effects on other species in the vicinity, not the least of which is us gardeners. There are dozens of frogs in my garden, and as frogs eat insects, I'm quite happy about that.


Snakes come out from the forest and feast on the cornucopia of small frogs, and this afternoon I watched a flock of egrets come in for the feast. They don't mind vehicles driving by, but will up and fly away if a human gets within 100 metres.


The egret, related to and often seen with herons, can be found all over Japan, and in total there are 18 different species, but I'm not ornithologist enough to be able to tell which species these were,


In the streams that run through villages and urban areas, the herons and egrets are less skittish.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Season of the frog


Starting in April, you can find frogs everywhere, the house, in the garden, on the roads.


I first come across the frogs in early spring when I start tilling the gardens. Unfortunately the tiller digs up some of the frogs that are hibernating about six inches underground, and more unfortunately it often injures them.


In late April, when the paddies are flooded in preparation for rice planting, the chorus really begins as thousands and thousands of frogs start their calling for mates. We live in a narrow, dead-ending, valley, and the noise at night is tremendous. My neighbor says that when his kids come back from the city for a visit they can't sleep at night because of the noise.


Saw this monster on our Katsuragi walk, in English a Bullfrog, in Japanese Ushikaeru, Cow frog. In earlier times they were eaten, but rarely nowadays.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Piggyback Frogs!

One Day in Izumo9674

I found these 2 in the shallow pool of Shimane Museum of Ancient Izumo.

One Day in Izumo9680

As I knelt down to take photos they swam over and literally poked their faces into the lens!.

I have no idea if it is an adult and child, 2 adults, ... are they mating? Maybe a naturalist among you can tell me?

One Day in Izumo9684