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

Sunday, July 23, 2023

Jodoji Temple 49 Ohenro Shikoku Pilgrimage


Jodoji Temple is just a couple of kilometers from temple 48, Sairinji, as the pilgrimage route approaches Matsuyama City centre from the south. It is situated at the base of some hills.

To the right of the main hall is the obligatory Daishi-do, but to the left stand an Amida-do and an Aizen-do.

There is a fine pair of Nio in the gate, though they are missing their eyes, said to have been stolen.

The temple was founded in the early 8th century. There is some confusion as some sources say it was a monk named Emyo who founded it, whereas other sources claim Gyoki. Gyoki is climed to be the carver of the honzon, a Shaka Nyorai.

Kobo Daishi came here in the 9th century and rebuilt the temple and converted it to Shingon.

In the middle of the 10th century a famous, itinerant, philanthropist monk, Kuya Shonin, spent three years here helping the local people. Before he left he carved a statue of himself that is now an Important Cultural Property.

In the late 12th century Yoritomo Minamoto prayed here and funded some reconstruction of the temple. The temple propspered and at one point controlled more than 60 sub-temples.

In the early 15th century much was burned down and was later restored by the local Kono Clan.

The main hall, with Ming features, was built at this time though was dismantled and extensively repaired and renovated in 1965.

A graveyard is set among the trees and bamboo on the hillside behind the temple and a path takes you up to an observation platfrom with some far-reaching views.

The previous temple was number 48 Sairinji.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Sairinji Temple 48 Shikoku Ohenro Pilgrimage


If you are walking the Ohenro pilgrimage in a clockwise direction, like most, then before you reach temple 48, Sairinji, you pass by the okunoin of the temple built in a nearby pond. Okunoin, or "inner shrine" are very often located in more remote, harder-to-access places, often the original location of the temple before a more accessible structure is built lower down the mountain. In this case, the okunoin marks the spot where Kobo Daishi struck the ground with his staff to create a spring, something said to have happened on countless occasions.

Jonofuchi park surrounds the pond and is a popular spot. The pond has very clear water and many large koi can be seen. Sairinji Temple is about 300 meters to the NE.

Originally founded by Gyoki in 741, at that time it was located some distance away in the mountains to the northeast of the current location. When Kobo Daishi visited he arranged to have it moved to its current location.

The temple burned down in the late 17th century and rebuilding began in 1700. The temple received support from the ruling Matsuyama Clan with more major rebuilding in the late Edo Period. The current Daishido was rebuilt in 2008.

The honzon, said to be carved by Gyoki, is an 11-faced kannon. It is never shown to the public but is said to be placed backwards so some people go to the rear of the hall to offer prayers.

It is not a large temple but has a small garden and also a small koi pond. The temple's full name is Seiryuzan Anyoin Sairinji, and it belongs to the Buzan school of Shingon.

The previous temple was Monjuin, an "extra" temple. Temple 47 was Yasakiji.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Joruriji Temple 46 Shikoku pilgrimage


Joruriji is located on the southern edge of Matsuyama City, and is the first of 8 temples around Matsuyama that are on the Shikoku pilgrimage.

The previous two temples, Iwayaji, and Daihoji, are both high in the mountains so it is quite a contrast to drop down into flatter terrain. Matsuyama is also the largest city along the route since Kochi.

According to the legend the temple was founded by the famous monk Gyoki which would make it the early 8th century. I believe a total of 37 of the 88 temples claim Gyoki as their founder.

As with the others, it is said Kukai came to the site about a century later and rebuilt or re-established the temple.

There are several smaller shrines, including this one to Benten.

I visited in the first week of January so the new year offerings were still on the altars.

The grounds are wooded and gardened, with a trio of thousand-year-old Juniper trees being noteworthy.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Akiraokisan Komyo-ji Temple 59 on the Kyushu Pilgrimage


After visiting Miyama Tenmangu I continued on north and in a little while the fog burned off completely to reveal a brilliant blue sky. I crossed the Yabe River and came to the next temple on the pilgrimage, Komyoji, number 59.

Though the area was primarily flat and consisted mostly of rice paddies and fields, the small temple was completely enveloped within a modern housing estate. The gate was firly modern but the Nio inside were not.

They were behind glass which made them hard to photographu, but seemed to be well made. They date back to the Kamakura Period ( 1185 - 1333 ). The temple itself is said to have been founded in the early 8th century and is said tobe the oldest temple in the region.

The temples records claim it was founded by Gyoki, who also carved the horizon, a Senju Kannon. Gyoki was an historical figure and a few things are known about him, but, like Kobo Daishi, is said to have founded hundreds of temples and carved hundreds of statues in almost every corner of the country.

There is a miniature Shikoku Pilgrimage within one courtyard with the 88 statues and "sand" from each temple.

There is a shrine within the grounds, and 2 stone, 9-layer pagodas, one of which was given by Taira no Shigemori, eldest son of Taira Kiyomori, in 1175.

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Konomine Shrine


When you finally reach the entrance to Konomineji Temple, the 27th on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, the steps fork, left to the main gate of the temple, and right further on up the mountain to Konomine Shrine.

Founded, according to legend, by Gyoki in the 8th century, the shrine and temple were in fact one single sacred site, and where the shrine now stands was in all probability the original site. Nowadays the shrine is considered the okunoin, the inner sanctuary, of the temple, which also suggests it was the original site.

In 1869 things changed with the governments "separation of the Buddhas and Kami, a process akin to separating the white and the yolk from a scrambled egg. Several of the "temples" on the Shikoku pilgrimage were primarily shrines before this time, just as many of the now-famous shrines in Japan were actually temples.

Most of the pilgrims and visitors to the temple don't make the extra climb up to the shrine, and unlike the temple the shrine is uninhabited, so  its a little more rundown, although it is obvious it was a much grander place in former times. There are several other small shrines around the grounds too.

The main kami now enshrined here is Oyamazumi, a kami of mountains, in  a sense the "older brother" of Amaterasu, and a kami with strong ties to Izumo. The most well known shrine to Oyamazumi would be the one on Omisjima Island between Shikoku and Honshu. Amaterasu and some other kami are listed, but I would seriously think they are much later additions.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Shikoku Pilgrimage Temple 39 Enkoji

I arrived at Enkoji, temple 39 on the Ohenro pilgrimage, on December 26th. It had taken a couple of days to walk from the previous temple at the cape. I had chosen a slightly longer route along the coast rather than backtracking and then going over the mountains. Even down at sea level it had snowed some yesterday, Christmas Day.

Enhoji has a fine pair of Nio in the main gate. Reputed to be founded in 724 by the renowned monk Gyoki, like many of the other temples on the Ohenro pilgrimage The honzon is yakushi Nyorai, reputedly carved by Gyoki.

A well in the grounds is famous for healing eye problems, and there is also a statue of a turtle relating to a legend of a giant turtle with a red bell on its back visiting the temple in 901. I was rather taken by the carvings however.

There are a couple of small gardens and in one a pond filled with koi.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Saikokuji, Onomichi


Saikoku-ji is a major temple complex in Onomichi, and along with Senko-ji and Jodo-ji it is one of the three temples that shouldn't be missed among the dozens found along the temple walk.


It is approached up a long slope that ends with the impressive Niomon with its huge straw sandals. Then there are steps to climb up to the temple complex itself on several levels.


According to the founding legend it was founded by Gyoki sometime around 739. Now it is a Shingon temple. The Daishi Hall has some nice Fudo statues inside and out.


The temple burned down, along with Gyokis Honzon, in the early 11th Century, but Emperor Shirakawa ordered it rebuilt in 1081. The main hall and three storey pagoda are both Important Cultural properties.