Showing posts with label jikokuten. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jikokuten. Show all posts

Monday, April 4, 2022

Kumadaniji Temple Revisited

Kumadaniji Temple 熊谷寺

The Tahoto, two-storied pagoda, at Kumadaniji Temple. Built in 1701, it is an Important Cultural property of Tokushima. The Tahoto is usually found at Shingon and sometimes Tendai temples.Kumadaniji is Shungon.

It is temple number 8 on the Shikoku Ohenro pilgrimage, but I was revisiting it on day 2 of my walk along the Shikoku Fudo Myoo pilgrimage which followed a similar route for the first day and a half.

Earlier I posted about the impressive Niomon gate that stands out in the valley. At the Sanmon, Mountain gate, of the temple there were a pair of Shitenno guardians, Jikokuten, I believe, pictured above.

The main hall of the temple burned down in 1928, but the Daishido, pictured above, survived. It was built in 1774.

A statue of Kobo Daishi as a mendicant monk stands in front of the bell tower.

A statue of Bishamointen, another of the Shitenno, at Kumadaniji Templenin Tokushima.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

The Magnificent Shitenno of Renge-in Tanjyoji Temple


Heading out of Tamana in Kumamoto on day 49 of my walk, I spied a tall pagoda, and heading over to investigate discovered this huge temple, Renge0in Tanjyiji. In the next post I will delve into the background of the temple, but for now I will just focus on the splendid gate. 15 meters tall and built solely out of wood in 2011, it houses the 4 Shitenno, the Heavenly Kings, Guardians of the 4 directions.

Standing more than 4 meters in height, they are said to be the biggest Shitenno statues in Japan. Zochoten. Guarding the south, Zochoten is associated with prosperity and spiritual growth. His season is summer, his colour is red, and his element is fire. Depicted with one hand on his hip, and the other holding a pole weapon.

Jikokuten means Guardian of the Nation, and he usually carries a sword and a staff, but not in this statue. He guards the east and his element is water. Associated with strength, he is either blue or green, and his season is spring.

All the Shitenno are depicted stepping on small, demonic creatures called Jaki or Jyaki, symbolizing their suppression of evil.

Tamonten is often known as Bishamonten and was adopted by the samurai and hence acquired an identity as a God of War. Guardian of the north, his element is earth and his color is black. All-knowing and all-hearing he is also associated with wealth and is usually depicted with a pagoda on one hand.

Guardian of the west, Komokuten sees through evil. He is usually depicted holding a scroll and a brush. His colour is white and his element is metal and season is autumn.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

More Kunisaki Cliff Carvings

The Motomiya Magaibutsu are a set of Buddhist cliff carvings in the Kunisaki Peninsula. I had started the day at what are believed to be the biggest cliff carvings in Japan, the Kumano Maigaibutsu, and later in the day after visiting the wonderful statuary on display at Makiodo I carried on walking north .

The figure on the left is a Jizo, next to Jikokuten. In the center of the first photo is a Fudo Myo flanked by his two attendants Setakadoji and Kongaradoji. The figure on the far right is Tamonten. It is believed they were all carved in the late Kamakura Period. Oita, and Kunisaki in particular, has the highest concentration of magaibutsu in Japan.

I was on the first day of my walk along the Kyushu Fudo Myo Pilgrimage, and as the first few temples were all located in Kunisaki I took the opportunity to take a longer walk roughly following the old Kunisaki/Hachiman pilgrimage. Kunisaki remains my favorite area in japan because of the remoteness and huge diversity of ancient religious sites.

The Motomiya Magaibutsu are now protected by a roof, but 20 minutes earlier I had visited a smaller set of Magaibutsu, the Daimonbo Magaibutsu, at the ruined site of a former temple. These magaibutsu are still exposed to the elements and are somewhat more eroded. Out of the photo on the left is a small standing Fudo Myo. The figure on the right is said to be Dainichi Nyorai, but no-one seems sure who the central figure is.

Just beyond the site of the ruined temple is a small Inari Shrine. The sheer number of shrines and temples and such in the area is quite staggering. It is said that there are more than 32,000 stone statues of various sizes in the area..... one for each kanji of the Lotus Sutra. It is thought that the Lotus Sitra is "mapped" onto the landscape of the Kunisaki Peninsula.

This was my sixth trip to the area and I was hoping to get to some of the many sites I had long been wanting to visit.....