Showing posts with label gyoki. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gyoki. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Tozenji Temple 74 on the Kyushu pilgrimage


Tozenji Temple, number 74 on the Shingon Kyushu pilgrimage, is in Nakazatacho, a rural community north of Sasebo in Nagasaki.

On the previous day's walk I visited temple 66, also called Tozenji, to the east of Sasebo.

The temple was established here in 968, but its origin can be said to lie almost three hundred years earlier in tye very early 8th century when the famous mink Gyoki visited the area and carved a statue of yakushi Nyorai.

That statue was enshrined on top of the mountain in what is now the temples Okunoin and the statue is the honzon of the temple.

I visited very early in the morning and there was no one about so I didn't go inside and see the statue.

The temple grounds are dominated by a huge Camphor tree.

Thought to be 600 years old, this ancient tree has a trunk circumference of 8 meters and is twenty meters high.

The previous post was about the first temple I visited on this, the 67th day of my walk, Korin-in.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Taisanji Temple 52 on the Shikoku pilgrimage


The main hall of Taisan-ji Temple, built in 1305, in the mountains to the northwest of Matsuyama City is a National Treasure and is truly one of the most elegant of the buildings on the pilgrimage.

Number 52 on the Shikoku pilgrimage, it claims to be one of the oldest temples on the pilgrimage.

According to the legend, Mano Choja, a wealthy man from Bungo in Kyushu was heading to Osaka on business in 587. Caught in a storm, his ship was in danger of sinking but was saved by a light shining from the spot where the temple now stands.

Guided to land safely, he climbed the mountain and discovered a miniature statue of Kannon.

He came back with a team of craftsmen from Bungo and according to the legend raised the main hall in one night. Later Gyoki visited and carved a Kannon statue and placed the original statue discovered by Choja inside it. In 739 Gyoki built the temple in the form it is now.

It is said that Shotoku Taishi visited here and there is a statue of him in the octagonal Shtokutaishi Hall.

Later, Kobo Daishi visited and converted the temple to Shingon. The Nio gate also dates back to the temple rebuilding of 1305. In the next post, I will show some of the statues and paintings found here.

The previous post in this series on the Shikoku Ohenro was on temple 51, Ishiteji Temple.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Fukuishi Kannon Seiganji Temple


Fukuishi Kannon is the popular name for Seiganji Temple in Sasebo, Nagasaki.

It's origin lies with a visit by Gyoki to the area in 710. While here he carved 3 statues from a sacred tree, one of which, a two metre tall 11-faced Kannon, he enshrined here.

It is classed as one of the Seven Famous Kannon statues in Kyushu.

When Kobo Daishi visited the area about a century later he established Seiganji Temple.

It is also said he placed 500 rakan statues in the cave behind the temple.

Rather than a cave, it is actually a wide, curved overhang in the cliff.

Over the centuries many of the statues disappeared but there still remains a collection of assorted statues, many not rakan, in the cave.

The current main hall was built by the local lord, Matsuura Seizan, in 1785,

He became Daimyo of the Hirado Domain when only 16 and later became a renowned swordsman.

It is a Shingon temple and the honzon is the Gyoki Kannon.

Held in August, the Sennichi Festival is one of the major festivals of Sasebo.

It is claimed that coming here and praying here for just one day during the festival is the equivalent to praying for 46,000 days, hence the name of the festival Shiman Rokusen Nichi, which means 46,000 days.

I visited on day 66 of my walk along the Kyushu Shingon pilgrimage, although the temple itself is not part of the pilgrimage. The previous post in the series was Jozenji Temple.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Jozenji Temple 71 on the Kyushu pilgrimage


Jozenji is a small temple in the hills to the east of Sasebo and is the 71st temple on the Shungon Kyushu pilgrimage, said to be the longest of all circuit pilgrimages in Japan.

Like the previous temple I visited a little earlier, Tozenji Temple, it claims to have been founded by Gyoki in the early 8th century.

It is said that Gyoki was traveling through the region promoting the establishment of the famous Todaiji, the first "national" temple in Japan in which he played a part.

While in this area he is said to have carved a statue of Yakushi Nyorai which is the honzon of this temple.

This was a different location, but exactly where is unclear to me because place names have changed so much. There does seem to be a connection with Saikyoji, a big temple on Hirado Island.

Wherever it was, the temple was destroyed during the anti-Buddhist movement in early Meiji and was rebuilt at the current location in 1880.

There was a path leading through the trees to a miniature Kannon pilgrimage.

Though there was no sign of it when I visited in March, the temple is known as a great spot for autumn leaves viewing.

The previous ost in this series was on Turtle Rock at Tozenji.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Ishiteji Temple Part 1


Ishite-ji Temple is number 51 on the 88 temple Shikoku Pilgrimage known as Ohenro.

It is located near Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama City and is very popular with non-pilgrims as well as pilgrims.

My dilemma when it came time for this post was in how to choose from the almost 200 photos I took here, and decided to post about half of them but spread over 4 posts to make them manageable.

The temple was said to be founded by Gyoki in 728.

Later Kukai visited and changed it to be a Shingon temple.

At that time it was called Anyo-ji.

The Niomon, dating all the way back to 1318, is a National Treasure.

The honzon of Ishiteji is a Yakushi Nyorai.

The three-storey Pagoda is about the same age as the Niomon, and it is an Important Cultural Property.

Ishite-ji literally means "stone hand temple" and refers to the legend of Emon Saburo.

His story can be found in the post on Monjuin Temple that I had visited earlier in the day.

A small stone with an inscription is viewable in the temple treasure house is said to be the one found in the hand of the new-born baby.

The belfry, 3 photos above, also dates back to the early 14th century, though the bell is said to be a little older.

Many temples are quite, sedate, meditative places, conforming to a certain image of Buddhist temples.

Some, however, are noisy, colourful, and crowded, and Ishiteji is one of this katter kind.

There are numerous smaller halls and shrines scattered around, and an unusually large number of statues and paintings.

Part of the reason I took so many pictures was that the light was great, but also there werejust so many statues, many of which, in the upcoming posts, are most unusual

The previous temple was Hanta-ji Temple, number 50.

Next part click below