Showing posts with label mitakidera. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mitakidera. Show all posts

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tsukubai at Mitaki Dera

Mitaki Dera

Tsukubai, literally "stooping basin" are small stone basins associated often with Tea Ceremony. They differ from the Temizuya found at Shinto shrines in that they are small, low to the ground, and usually with only a single dipper.
Their function is similar to Temizuya, used for purification. The water usually enters the basin through a bamboo spout. This new one was built just outside the toilets.
All of these Tsukubai are at Mitaki Dera, my favorite site in Hiroshima.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Scary protectors


It took me a long time to find out about this statue as I can find nothing similar anywhere else. It is located in Mitaki Dera, my favorite site in Hiroshima City. Many people refer to it as a Nio, but it is not. It is one of the Shitenno, the 4 Heavenly Kings.


Originally Hindu deities, in Japanese buddhism the shitenno are associated with protection of the 4 directions. Tamonten, also known as Bishamonten, is probably the most well known of the shitenno. Which of the four this one is I don't know.


The clue that it is a shitenno and not a nio is that under its foot, and in this particular statue also being hurled from its left hand, are Jaki ( or Jyaki), a type of demon or malevolent spirit.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Red hats.


Red hats on statues are fairly common throughout Japan, and often accompanied by red bibs.


It is said that the red caps on Jizo statues represent the amniotic sac, but the most common explanation for them is that red is the color that drives away disease and sickness.


Making the hats and bibs for the statues is in a sense an act of prayer.


All of these photos were taken at Mitakidera, a temple in the hills just outside downtown Hiroshima. It is my favorite site to visit in Hiroshima.


In a rock nook behind the spring above the temple even the snake representing the kami of water is hatted.