Showing posts with label sekibutsu. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sekibutsu. Show all posts

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Usuki Stone Buddhas

Just outside the old castle town of Usuki in southern Oita are a collection of truly magnificent Buddhist stone carvings known as the Usuki Stone Buddhas.

Carved into cliff faces and overhangs about 60 different statues are grouped together into 4 different clusters. 59 of them are registered as National Treasures.

The carvings were believed to have been made almost 1,000 years ago in the 12th century and because they are carved into fairly soft rock have suffered a lot of erosion since then. They have been somewhat restored and are now protected from the weather.

Most interesting is that they were originally painted and on some of the carvings the traces of pigment are still clearly visible......

Yuzukosho (yuzu pepper) is a signature product from Usuki

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sugao Stone Buddhas

Sugao, on the banks of the Ono River a little downstream from Bungo Ono is home to a small set of relief carved Buddhist statues. There are 4 large figures and a smaller one. On the far left is a Thousand Armed Kannon.

Next to it is a Yakushi Nyorai. The figures are between 180 and 190 cms in height and were believed to have been carved towards the end of the Heian Period, so are roughly a thousand years old.

On the far right is an 11 Faced Kannon, and to its left is an Amida. They are now well protected against the ravages of the weather but the stone is fairly soft so have lost some of their detail to time.

On the far right is a Bishamonten, much smaller than the 4 main figures.

The most well preserved seems to be the central Amida. The pigments are still very clear, though they must have been magnificent when first made.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Kyushu Pilgrimage Day 13 Bungo Ono to Usuki

Friday, February 22nd, 2013, my 13th day walking around Kyushu and my route takes me pretty much downhill back to the coast at Usuki. There are no pilgrimage temples today but plenty of shrines along the route for me to explore.

After lunch I am about 5k from Usuki and arrive at the Usuki Stone Buddhas, a collection of ciff-carved stone statues, 48 of which are registered as National Treasures. The original paintwork is still plainly visible on many of them givin an indication of how impressive they must have been centuries ago.

by mid afternoon I arrive in the city of Usuki, spread out along the coast. My hotel is at the opposite end so walk the length of the main shopping street, somewhat dilapidated as so many businesses have moved out to the outskirts.

I rest up for a while before heading out to the port area for sunset.