Showing posts with label kakuban. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kakuban. Show all posts

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Tanjo-in Temple 62 Kyushu Pilgrimage


Tanjo means "birth" in Japanese, and Tanjo-in Temple in Kashima, Saga is built on the spot where Kakuban, known posthumously as Kogyo Daishi, was born in 1095.

The temple was founded in 1405 at the request of the Shogun Yoshimitsu. Nearby is Rengon-in, a temple connected to where Kakuban first studied the Dharma as a child.

At the end of the 16th century, the temple was destroyed during the Warring States Period. At the end of the 17th century, the local Daimyo of the Nabeshima clan tried unsuccessfully to revive the temple.

In 1913 a descendant of the Nabeshima and influential local people succeeded in getting the temple rebuilt. The grounds are quite large and planted with a wide variety of flowering shrubs and trees including Cherry, Wisteria, Azalea, etc.

The honzon is a Fudo Myoo and it has a statue of Kakuban in front. The Fudo came from Negoro-ji Temple in Wakayama which is where Kakuban died and has his tomb.

He is credited with being a reformer of Shingon and his disciple officially set up a "new" branch called Shingi. For a while he controlled Koyasan. He also was a cause of conflict which is why he left Koyasan for Negoro-ji.

The Kondo, built in 1929, enshrines a statue of Kakuban. Tanjo-ji has a reputation as a place to pray for safe childbirth.

It is number 62 on the 108 temple Shingon Kyushu Pilgrimage, and I visited on the 59th day of my walk. A few minutes earlier I had visited Rengon-in, number 63.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Rengon-in Temple 63 Kyushu Pilgrimage


Number 63 on the 108 temple Kyushu Pilgrimage is Rengon-in located in Kashima on the Ariake Sea in Saga.

It was originally founded in the late 8th Century and later became part of a large monastic complex named Kongosho-in that had a connection with Kakuban, an important priest in Shingon who was born nearby.

Kongosho-in was a powerful temple with many sub-temples but it was destroyed during the Warring States Period of the 16th Century. Only Rengon-in survived and is believed to currently occupy the site  of the Kondo of Kongosho-in.

The Treasure House contains three statues from the Heian Period that are registered as National Important Cultural Properties, one level below National Treasure. The two Yakushi and one Amida statues are prized as rare examples of Jocho-style sculptures.

Jocho was a sculptor of the late Heian Period who popularized the technique of making sculptures out of several pieces of wood. This enabled more assistants to work. He also standardized proportions, again making production more efficient. His style was dominant for more than a century, though not so many pieces remain.

When I visited the temple was thatched but a few years ago it was completely rebuilt and now looks like any other small temple. I visited in the early morning of my 59th day walking the Kyushu Pilgrimage.

The previous post was an overview of day 58.