Showing posts with label kyushu fudo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kyushu fudo. 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.

Friday, February 2, 2024

Kakaji Betsugu Hachiman Shrine


Kakaji is a town on the north side of the Kunisaki peninsula, and the Hachiman Shrine is te main shrine of the town.

The approach to the shrine crosses a stone-arched bridge across the Takeda River.

Built in the mid 19th century, this type of bridge was rare in the area.

The shrine is set in a forest of pines, and its main feature is an impressive two-storey gate.

One of the komainu guarding the approach is unusual in that it is standing upon a turtle. I can't remember having seen that before.

The main gate has numerous relief carvings.

Many sources suggest the gate may have been built in the late Edo period, but the late 19th century is more likely.

The gate houses two Zuijin, Shinto guardians.

They are unusual in that they are carved out of stone, not wood. I have seen other stone zuijin in the Kunisaki area, but not elsewhere.

The shrine was established in the early 8th century, before the  Hachiman cult spread to the Kinki region with its connection to the founding of Todaiji.

It is one of 5 "betsugu" of Usa Hachimangu. Bestsugu is often translated as "branch", but the relationship is stronger and more direct than that. Maybe "annex" would be more accurate.

As a Hachiman shrine it is now considered to enshrine Ojin, his mother Jingu, and a consort.

The three Munakata "sisters" are also enshrined here.

I visited at the end of my second day walking around the Kunisaki area following the old Kunisaki pilgrimage trail while starting the Kyushu Fudo pilgrimage. The previous post was on my walk from Oreki Temle to Kakaji.

Saturday, December 9, 2023

From Orekiji Temple to Kakaji


Mount Shiritsuki, 587 meters, is clearly visible as I leave Oreki Temple and carry on up the road.

For a couple of hours, the road is forest and mountain with no habitations of any kind.

I'm on the second day of my walk along the Kyushu Fudo Pilgrimage, which for this first part also follows the old yamabushi Kunisaki pilgrimage now followable along the Kunisaki Hanto Minemichi Long Trail.

Every now and then the view opens up to the typical Kunisaki Peninsula landscape of cliffs and spires of rock, the kind of place that attracted yamabushi.

Eventually the road lead down past some mountain farms and eventually reached the main road running along the Takeda River. The next temple is not far upstream but that will be where I start on the next leg as I am heading home now.

The road runs north towards the coast where I will take the ferry across to Honshu.

Along the way I stop in briefly at some local shrines, a Wakamiya Shrine, a Yasaka Shrine, and a Hie Shrine, none with any interesting attributes, and none part of the syncretic shinto-buddhist Rokumanzan culture that is so intriguing in this area.

The largest settlement on the coast is Kakaji and there is a big shrine here for me to explore, but that will be the next post.

The previous post in this series was Oreki Temple.

It is the first week of  May and so the carp streamers are up......

Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Oreki Temple 7 Kyushu Fudo Myo Pilgrimage


Oreki-ji is a small, Tendai temple in the mountains of the Kunisaki Peninsula, and is temple number 7 on the Kyushu Fudo Myo Pilgrimage.

It is less than 3 kilometers from Mudo-ji, temple number 6, that I had visited a little earlier.

Like Mudo-ji, Oreki-ji is one of the Rokugo Manzan temples of the Kunisaki Peninsula that developed its own unique form of syncretic mountain religion more than a millenia earlier, and that makes the area so intriguing to visit nowadays.

Just inside the gate, next to a large Wishing Jizo statue, is a small hall with a second set of stone Nio guardians. Inside are 33 Kannon statues.

Like all 28 Rokugo Manzan temples, Oreki-ji is said to have been founded by the monk Ninmon in 718, though many historians consider him to be more a legendary figure.

It was moved to its current location in 1625. The temple declined during the Edo Period and eventually became abandoned by the mid 19th century, but was revived by monks from Futago-ji.

The hinzon is a Thousand-armed Kannon, originally held in the okunoin further up the mountainside, but moved here after a fire. The Okunoin is now a Rokusho Shrine, but I did not make the climb up to it.

There is also a fine, Heian Period statue of Fudo Myo. Originally located in its own building on the other side of the river, it is carved out of a single piece of cypress and is registered as a Prefectural Important Cultural Property.

There are many other statues inside the main hall, including an En no Gyoja flanked by  2 demon servants ( photo 5 )

Since I first started exploring the Kunisaki area many years ago it has become more popular but still most visitors only visit a half dozen major sites, but it is well worth spending more time here and exploring more deeply as it is filled with sights to see. The Kunisaki Hanto Minemichi Long Trail is a walking route with minimal support infrastructure, but it roughly follows the old Shugendo  pilgrimage route. This was the second day of my walk along it.

The previous post in this series was on the nearby Misosogi Shrine.