Showing posts with label niomon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label niomon. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Kumadaniji Temple Niomon


The Niomon at Kumadanoji Temple, number 8 on the Shikoku Pilgrimage, is said to be the largest Niomon of all the 88 temples on the pilgrimage.

It was built in 1687 and stands 12.3 meters tall and 9 meters wide, and is an Important Cultural Property.. This was mu second visit to Kumadaniji, and the approach to the gate is famous for its cherry blossoms, though I have not visited at that time.

I am guessing that the pair of Nio statues also date from the time of the Niomons construction. Other buildings within the temple date from a few years later, so rebuilding the Niomon seems to have been a priority.

I was walking the Shikoku Fudo Myo Pilgrimage, so I revisited the first set of temples. and for the first day and a half my route followed the Shikoku Ohenro pilgrimage

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Akiraokisan Komyo-ji Temple 59 on the Kyushu Pilgrimage


After visiting Miyama Tenmangu I continued on north and in a little while the fog burned off completely to reveal a brilliant blue sky. I crossed the Yabe River and came to the next temple on the pilgrimage, Komyoji, number 59.

Though the area was primarily flat and consisted mostly of rice paddies and fields, the small temple was completely enveloped within a modern housing estate. The gate was firly modern but the Nio inside were not.

They were behind glass which made them hard to photographu, but seemed to be well made. They date back to the Kamakura Period ( 1185 - 1333 ). The temple itself is said to have been founded in the early 8th century and is said tobe the oldest temple in the region.

The temples records claim it was founded by Gyoki, who also carved the horizon, a Senju Kannon. Gyoki was an historical figure and a few things are known about him, but, like Kobo Daishi, is said to have founded hundreds of temples and carved hundreds of statues in almost every corner of the country.

There is a miniature Shikoku Pilgrimage within one courtyard with the 88 statues and "sand" from each temple.

There is a shrine within the grounds, and 2 stone, 9-layer pagodas, one of which was given by Taira no Shigemori, eldest son of Taira Kiyomori, in 1175.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Taisanji mountaintop temple in Tokushima

Located at about 450 meters above sea level, Taisanji is the first of the bangai temples on the Shikoku pilgrimage known commonly as Ohenro, and the first of the 36 temples on the Shikoku Fudo Myo O pilgrimage. Most pilgrims on the Ohenro don't make the steep detour up to it, as I didn't when I walked it, , but I was on my first day of the Fudo pilgrimage.

According to the legend it is a very ancient holy spot for Buddhism being established in the 6th Century. Later the monk Gyoki, who is credited with founding many of the Ohenro temples, practised austerities here, and later still Kobo Daishi came here and built a building and put a statue of Senju Kannon here. It is said he received the statue from his master when studying in China.

There was a giant, ancient Gingko tree in the grounds but the leaves had all fallen. I had passed through some fall colors on the way up the mountain but at this height it had all gone. I had become intrigued by Taisanji after reading a little about Tachikawa Ryu, a school of Shingon that espoused a type of tantric practise utilizing sexual energy, and Taisanji was one of its centers. It became outlawed and actually classed as heresy by the head authorities of Shingon so all records were destroyed or locked away.

Of course there was no sign of it anywhere I could see.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Konsenji Temple 3 Shikoku Pilgrimage

Konsenji Temple 3 Shikoku Pilgrimage

The third temple on the pilgrimage route, only a few kilometers from the second, is in Itano Town and its name means Golden Spring Temple.


It belongs to the Shingon sect, and the main deity is Shaka Nyorai, the historical Buddha known as Sakyamuni in English.

Legend has it that the temple was founded by Gyogi, and also that he carved the main sculpture.


Legend has it that later when Kobo Daishi visited he struck his staff into the ground and sacred, healing water gushed forth. This same story occurs often throughout Japan.


The temple was burned down, like so many others, by Chosokabe in the late 16th Century and was rebuilt later.

There is a large rock in the grounds known as the Benkei Stone, that legend says was lifted by Benkei as a show of strength when he and Yoshitsune stopped here.


Konsenji has a fine Niomon Gate with Nio, a lovely lotus pond,  a fine Pagoda, and my favorite statue, a Kurikara, the sword of Fudo Myo with entwined serpent.