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

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

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.