Showing posts with label jizo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jizo. Show all posts

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Mt. Ebisu Jisso-in Temple 5 Kyushu Fudo Myo pilgrimage


Jisso-in Temple is situated between  Reisenji Temple and Rokusho Shrine high in the mountains of the Kunisaki peninsula in northern Oita.

The three were all part of the same sacred site until the separation of Buddhas and Kami in 1868.

In the temple grounds stand two Jizo statues, one large, and one small. They are known as Mimi Jizo and local people pray to them for healing from illness.

As well as being number 5 on the Kyushu 36 temple Fudo Myo pilgrimage, it is number 15 on the Rokugo Manzan pilgrimage which closely approximates the ancient pilgrim route for yamabushi of the syncretic cult that combines Tendai esoteric Buddhism and  Usa Hachiman.

The honzon is a Fudo statue dated to 1787. Next door was the much larger original Rokusho Shrine site to which I turn next.

The previous post in this series on the Kyushu Fudo pilgrimage was Reisenji Temple next door.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Mt. Ebisu Reisenji Temple


Reisenji Temle was one of the 12 main temples located in the heart of the Kunisaki peninsula in Oita that made up the unique Rokugo Manzan cult and pilgrimage, a form of Shugendo based on Usa Hachiman and  Tendai Buddhism.

Situated high up the Takeda River valley, one of the 28 valleys that radiated out from the volcanic heart of the peninsula.

The main gate was relocated here from neighbouring Rokusho Shrine after the separation of Buddhas and Kami. The shrine, Jisson-in Temple, and Reisenji Temple were all originally the same site.

Reisenji is nowadays number 14 on the Rokugo Manzan pilgrimage which can be followed along a recently renovated long-distance trail, the Kunisaki Hanto Moimemichi Long Trail. It is said the temple was founded in 718. The honzon is a Thousan-Armed Kannon.

The shrines and temples of Kunisaki are known for their stone Nio guardians, and Resenji is home to six, 2 of which are guarding the biggest Jizo statue in all of Kyushu.

Almost 5 meters tall, and made out of a single piece of stone, the Jizo was carved in 1860.

I visited at the start of my second leg walking the Kyushu Fudo pilgrimage during which I walked a large part of the Kunisaki pilgrimage at the start as they somewhat coincided. The previous post in the series was on the large Hachiman Shrine near the mouth of the Takeda River.

Monday, February 19, 2024

From 28 Yakushi-do to 29 Kazaana-an


Yakushi-do, temple 28 on the Shodoshima Pilgrimage is located on the east coast and about halfway down the Mito peninsula that has the southernmost point of Shodoshima at its tip.

It is a fairly small, simple, and new structure that has been moved here fairly recently from higher up the slope. It is said that Crown Prince Taisho visited on his trip to the island in the first years of the twentieth century.

The new location is in front of an older cemetery and right next to the village shrine. It is unnamed with no information but the very small shimenawa is of a kind that still has the ears of rice attached to the ends of the straw.

I sit in the little covered rest area next to the Yakushido and drink a can of coffee from the vending machine while I ponder my route. The guide book I am using is written for car pilgrims and says to keep going south down the coast road and then cross over the peninsula at its narrowest part before heading up to the next temple.

Signs from the Yakushi-do point up through the village and I decide to follow them as my experience yesterday suggests that the walking path is quicker than the car route.

I switch back up through the village and take a path leading up the hillside. Once on top the path follows the narrow ridge before starting to descend down the other side.

I pass by a small altar and believe it to be the okunoin of temple 29.

A pair of dolls seem really creepy..... many Japanese I have spoken with seem very superstitious when it comes to old dolls.....

A little further and I come to temple 29 Kazaana-an. There are great views down the coast and across to Shikoku. I believe this is the southernmost point of the pilgrimage.

It is a modern building and well looked after.

I see a couple of young women heading down the stairs. These are the first other visitors to a temple I have seen since starting three days ago.

The honzon is a Jizo, though it, and several other statues, are locked away. A reclining Buddha covered in blankets is in front of the altar.

There is a small Inari shrine. Representations of Inari are either of a young maiden or an old man. This one is the latter.

The previous post in this series on the Shodoshima pilgrimage was on my walk down the peninsula.

As I reach the road below the temple a young pilgrim is parking his bicycle. Our paths will cross several more times today

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The Climb to Senganji Temple


Kawamoto is the next town up the Gonokawa River from my village.

Halfway up the steep hillside across the river from downtown Kawamoto is a small temple, Senganji.

The temple becomes really visible in late Autumn when the trees around it turn orange, yellow, and red.

I have actually only made it up to the temple one time, after walking down from Iwami Ginzan on day 5 of my walk along the Iwami Kannon pilgrimage.

Senganji is temple number 9 on that pilgrimage.

There is no vehicular access to Senganji, only a footpath with more than 200 steps, which is, I think, a large reason the temple has been uninhabited for a long time.

There are numerous statues along the path, inlcuding a lot of Jizo but also some Kannon.

When I visited in the late afternoon in May, the shafts of sunlight illumnated many of the statues quite dramatically.

Tomorrow I will post photos from inside the temple and include what history I have been able to find out.

According to a recent photo I saw, the structure housing this collection of statues has  now completely collapsed.

The temple occuppies a narrow ledge in the steep hillside.

The previous post in this series on the Iwami kannon pilgrimage was Ido Shrine in Omori.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Turtle Rock at Tozenji Temple


I suspect that we all have specific images or scenes that encapsulate our experience of Japan. While an icon is usually a visual image  that has a very broad or near-universal meaning, Mount Fuji as icon of Japan for instance, for many of us something more personal and related to our own environment and experience is more iconic.

For me, one of the defining images of Japan is of red-bibbed statues set in a green, mossy background, as I encountered behind Tozenji Temple. The first two photos were taken from Hasami Shrine next door, suggesting that the sacred spring behind the temple was also shared by the shrine.

A path running behind the temple that follows a small stream leads up to the source of the water, with statues set along the rocks.

The water is coming out of some rounded boulders that had been given the name Kameishi, or Turtle Rock.

A signboard at the temple now proclaims this to be a "power spot", a term that seems recently to be applied to just about anywhere. When I first came to Japan I noticed that the moniker "powaa supoto" was applied to mostly sites connected to imperial myth, but now is very widespread and applied to many sacred springs and sacred trees etc

The previous post was on Tozenji Temle itself.