Showing posts with label shodo88. Show all posts
Showing posts with label shodo88. Show all posts

Friday, April 19, 2024

Shoboji Temple & Seiganji Temple 30 & 31 on Shodoshima pilgrimage


After a couple of small, hermitage-type "temples", number 30, Shoboji, in the small coastal settlement of Yoshino on the Mito peninsula, was quite substantial though there was no-one home.

It is said the temple was founded by Kobo Daishi himself in the early 9th century.

The main hall is said to be about 250-300 years old.

The honzon is a small statue of Dainichi dating back to the Heian period, possibly even the 10th century. It is one of the oldest Dainichi statues in all of Kagawa. Flanking the Dainich is a Tamonten and a Jikokuten from the same period although these two are believed to have been carved locally.

Not far away, around a small headland, and in the next coastal settlement, is Seiganji, temple 31.

This is even more substantial and with a bell tower gate dating back to the Edo period.

The most noticeable thing here though is the massive Sago palm that almost obscures the view of the main building. probably about 1,000 years old, though some claim it to be 1,600 years old, 7.5 meters high, and with a trunk diameter of 8 meters.

It is said the temple was founded by Gyoki in the first half of the 8th century. While sleeping at this spot he is said to have a dream of Myoken, the Buddhist version of the North Star deity and a very, very popular cult in Japan.

Believed to be Taoist in origin and brought to Japan by Korean immigrants, esoteric Buddhism adopted the deity. Right next door is a Myoken Shrine. Thousands of Myoken shrines were renamed and the deity renamed as a Shinto kami in the early Meiji period. One possible site of origin in Japan is the Yatsushiro Shrine in southern Kyushu. That post also links to a favorite Myoken temple of mine, Nose Myokensan near Osaka.

The main hall is on the hillside above the main temple grounds. It was built in 1933 out of Taiwanese Cypress and features many carvings. The honzon is a standing Amida Nyorai. Also in the main hall are a Senju Kannon, a Myoken Bosatsu, and a Fudo Myoo.

Leading up to the main hall is a delightful Edo-period rock garden. In front of the garden is a large flat stone that if you stand on it the North Star is visible directly above the main hall/

The previous post was on temples 28 nd 29.

Monday, February 19, 2024

From 28 Yakushi-do to 29 Kazaana-an


Yakushi-do, temple 28 on the Shodoshima Pilgrimage is located on the east coast and about halfway down the Mito peninsula that has the southernmost point of Shodoshima at its tip.

It is a fairly small, simple, and new structure that has been moved here fairly recently from higher up the slope. It is said that Crown Prince Taisho visited on his trip to the island in the first years of the twentieth century.

The new location is in front of an older cemetery and right next to the village shrine. It is unnamed with no information but the very small shimenawa is of a kind that still has the ears of rice attached to the ends of the straw.

I sit in the little covered rest area next to the Yakushido and drink a can of coffee from the vending machine while I ponder my route. The guide book I am using is written for car pilgrims and says to keep going south down the coast road and then cross over the peninsula at its narrowest part before heading up to the next temple.

Signs from the Yakushi-do point up through the village and I decide to follow them as my experience yesterday suggests that the walking path is quicker than the car route.

I switch back up through the village and take a path leading up the hillside. Once on top the path follows the narrow ridge before starting to descend down the other side.

I pass by a small altar and believe it to be the okunoin of temple 29.

A pair of dolls seem really creepy..... many Japanese I have spoken with seem very superstitious when it comes to old dolls.....

A little further and I come to temple 29 Kazaana-an. There are great views down the coast and across to Shikoku. I believe this is the southernmost point of the pilgrimage.

It is a modern building and well looked after.

I see a couple of young women heading down the stairs. These are the first other visitors to a temple I have seen since starting three days ago.

The honzon is a Jizo, though it, and several other statues, are locked away. A reclining Buddha covered in blankets is in front of the altar.

There is a small Inari shrine. Representations of Inari are either of a young maiden or an old man. This one is the latter.

The previous post in this series on the Shodoshima pilgrimage was on my walk down the peninsula.

As I reach the road below the temple a young pilgrim is parking his bicycle. Our paths will cross several more times today

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Down the Mito Peninsula


The Mito Peninsula extends out to the south of Shodoshima Island towards Shikoku.

In fact, the southern tip of the peninsula is, I believe, the closest point to Shikoku.

On Boxing Day (December 26th) 2015 I walked most of the way down the East coast of the peninsula.

Earlier that morning I had visited 6 temples of the Shodoshima Pilgrimage that all lay close to each other. Now I had a 2-hour walk to the next one.

Shikoku was clearly visible and one of the many car ferries passed by

Perhaps the strangest sight was a line of about 20 TV antennas along the side of the road. I suspect it was the only way to get a signal in the fishing village down below.

Across the Uchinomi Bay I can see the smaller peninsula I walked along 2 days ago on my first day when I visited the famous "24 Eyes" movie location and the theme park where a later remake was made.

The weather was glorious......

The previous post was on the cluster of temples I visited earlier.

Friday, October 20, 2023

Temples 24 to 27 Shodoshima Pilgrimage


Early on my third day walking the Shodoshima Pilgrimage I visited a small group of temples in close proximity to each other. Temples 24 to 27 are just off the main road on the south coast,  adjacent to one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island, the Olive Park.

Temple 24,  Anyoji, has a Daisho-do, Jizo-do, and a bell tower as well as the main hall and the priests residence. The grounds have some nice Camelia trees.

The buildings are all fairly modern, circa 1990 with several nice kinds of onigawara tiles.

It is claimed that the temple was founded by Gyoki and later revived in the 17th century. The honzon is a Kannon.

A footpath leads up the hill to the next temple which has no vehicular access.

Temple 25, Seiganji-an, is a much smaller, more rustic establishment.

At the top of the hill, the honzon of Seiganji-an is a Yakushi Nyorai.

A little further along the trail is a well with a Jizo-do.

This is the okunoin of temple 26, Amidaji.  The well, called Omizu Daishi, is very popular and is one of countless water sources attributed to Kobo Daishi himself.

The Jizo is an Enmei Jizo, a "long life" Jizo.

Near the well the asphalt starts again and leads down to temple 27 before coming to 26. Sometimes the route for walking pilgrims differs from that for the more numerous car pilgrims.

Temple 27 is Sakuranoan, so named because of a famous cherry tree that stood here earlier. The honzon is an 11-faced Kannon.

Just a short distance away is temple 26, Amida-ji.  Like Anyoji, it also claims to have been founded by Gyoki and revived in the 17th century.

The previous post was on temples 22 and 23.