Showing posts with label matsuyama.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label matsuyama.. Show all posts

Saturday, January 27, 2024

The Art of Taisanji Temple


Like most of the temples on major pilgrimages, Taisanji, temple 52 on the Shikoku pilgrimage has plenty of art adorning the buildings and grounds.

The Nio Gate is about 600 meters from the temple grounds. Rebuilt in 1305,at  the same time as the main hall, it contains 2 striking Nio guardians.

At the next gate, at the entrance to the main temple complex, there are 4 statues of the Shitenno, the four heavenly kings.

It is not uncommon to find temple gates with the four shitenno

Inside the bell tower are paintings depicting Enma and the other judges of hell and scenes of the tortures and sufferings awaiting those going to hell...

Ema, votive plaques, are a religious practice common to both shrines and temples. There were a variety of different designs at Taisanji, but I was attracted to theFudo.....

traces of pigment can still be seen in this example of relief carving....

Not sure who this statue is, but to my untrained eye it seems to be almost an Indian-style statue...

Small statues of Daikoku, one of the Seven Lucky Gods, can often be found at the ends of roof ridges, or, like here, on a wall toed with kawara.

To me, this final statue aears to be done in Korean style.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Taisanji Temple 52 on the Shikoku pilgrimage


The main hall of Taisan-ji Temple, built in 1305, in the mountains to the northwest of Matsuyama City is a National Treasure and is truly one of the most elegant of the buildings on the pilgrimage.

Number 52 on the Shikoku pilgrimage, it claims to be one of the oldest temples on the pilgrimage.

According to the legend, Mano Choja, a wealthy man from Bungo in Kyushu was heading to Osaka on business in 587. Caught in a storm, his ship was in danger of sinking but was saved by a light shining from the spot where the temple now stands.

Guided to land safely, he climbed the mountain and discovered a miniature statue of Kannon.

He came back with a team of craftsmen from Bungo and according to the legend raised the main hall in one night. Later Gyoki visited and carved a Kannon statue and placed the original statue discovered by Choja inside it. In 739 Gyoki built the temple in the form it is now.

It is said that Shotoku Taishi visited here and there is a statue of him in the octagonal Shtokutaishi Hall.

Later, Kobo Daishi visited and converted the temple to Shingon. The Nio gate also dates back to the temple rebuilding of 1305. In the next post, I will show some of the statues and paintings found here.

The previous post in this series on the Shikoku Ohenro was on temple 51, Ishiteji Temple.

Saturday, December 2, 2023

Ishiteji Temple Part 4


This is the last of four posts on the colorful and chaotic Ishiteji Temple in Matsuyama, Ehime.

The first post looked at the entrance and main part of the temple. The second looked at the tunnel leading to the okunoin, the "inner temple".

The third looked at the tunnel coming back from the Okunoin, and this post looks at some of the other halls and the area around the Treasure Hall.

The honzon of Ishiteji is a Yakushi Nyorai, a so-called Medicine Buddha, but there were numerous halls and altars to a variety of Kannons.

There were also a few of the kind of wooden carvings that populated the tunnels and okunoin.

While paintings can be seen at some temples, there seemed to be a lot more here...

The Treasure Hall is open as a museum with an entrance fee and is worth a visit.

It is located in a quieter part of the temple with some vegetation and much fewer people.

There are several walls with relief carving done in Indian style.....

Though a major temple on the 88 temple Shikoku Pilgrimage, Ishiteji does not have a Shukubo, paid temple lodgings, though when I visited ten years ago there was a tsuyado, a free place to stay for walking pilgrims, but I have no idea if that still exists.

For information on the temple's history and about the various historical buildings, see Part 1.

For those with an interest in actual history, rather than legend, I did read that it is believed Ishiteji was te center of a local yamabushi pilgrimage that later became joined up with several others and eventually became the 88 temple pilgrimage of later..

The previous post in this series was Ishiteji Temple Part 3. The previous temple on the pilgrimage was temple 50, Hanta-ji.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Ishiteji Temple Part 3


In this third part to my post on Ishiteji Temple in Matsuyama, I show scenes from inside the Okunoin and then the second tunnel leading back to the main temple.

In PART 1 I looked at the entrance to the temple and some of the main buildings and also gave plenty of historical details.

In PART 2 I looked at the tunnel leading through the hillside and the approach to this Okunoin.

The inside of the unusual, spherical, okunoin is filled with many of the same kind of "folk" statues that were encountered in the tunnel.

The majority seem to represent the rakan, the 500 disciples of the Buddha that are often found as a group of statues at some temples.

There were other statues though, representing other bodhisattvas, buddhas, deities, etc

There seems to be quite an atmosphere of strangeness that some visitors seem to have found disturbing

I found it quite wonderful, like a huge, free, sculpture museum....

Leaving the Okunoin, I took a different tunnel back to the main temple

This had the same kinds of statues as the first tunnel, including many "standard" ones

As well as another chapel-altar covered in bibs

There were also paintings on some walls 

Before emerging once again into the sunlight in the main temple compound....