Showing posts with label temple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label temple. Show all posts

Friday, February 9, 2024

Senganji Temple 9 on the Iwami Kannon pilgrimage


Senganji Temple, number 9 on the Iwami Kannon pilgrimage, sits on a steep hillside overlooking the small town of Kawamoto on the Gonokawa River.

It is a Soto Zen temple with a Jizo for a honzon, and was founded in 1576.

It was originally located in a valley to the west but was burned down, quite ossibly due to warfare.

On to of the mountain was a castle belonging to the Ogasawara Clan who ruled the area, with the agreement of the powerful Mori Clan.

Senganji and two powerful temples nearby, also both on the Iwami Kannon pilgrimage, all had strong connections with the Ogasawara and were considered clan temples.

Senganji has been uninhabited and rarely visited for some time, and since I visited ten years ago I have seen photos showing a lot of deterioration and collapse in the buildings.

According to one source there were several residences at the temple until about 100 years ago.

The previous post was on the path up the mountainside to the temple which has many statues.

Senganji is also temple number 21 on the Iwami Ginzan Kannon pilgrimage, a recently rediscovered pilgrimage route.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

The Climb to Senganji Temple


Kawamoto is the next town up the Gonokawa River from my village.

Halfway up the steep hillside across the river from downtown Kawamoto is a small temple, Senganji.

The temple becomes really visible in late Autumn when the trees around it turn orange, yellow, and red.

I have actually only made it up to the temple one time, after walking down from Iwami Ginzan on day 5 of my walk along the Iwami Kannon pilgrimage.

Senganji is temple number 9 on that pilgrimage.

There is no vehicular access to Senganji, only a footpath with more than 200 steps, which is, I think, a large reason the temple has been uninhabited for a long time.

There are numerous statues along the path, inlcuding a lot of Jizo but also some Kannon.

When I visited in the late afternoon in May, the shafts of sunlight illumnated many of the statues quite dramatically.

Tomorrow I will post photos from inside the temple and include what history I have been able to find out.

According to a recent photo I saw, the structure housing this collection of statues has  now completely collapsed.

The temple occuppies a narrow ledge in the steep hillside.

The previous post in this series on the Iwami kannon pilgrimage was Ido Shrine in Omori.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Tozenji Temple 74 on the Kyushu pilgrimage


Tozenji Temple, number 74 on the Shingon Kyushu pilgrimage, is in Nakazatacho, a rural community north of Sasebo in Nagasaki.

On the previous day's walk I visited temple 66, also called Tozenji, to the east of Sasebo.

The temple was established here in 968, but its origin can be said to lie almost three hundred years earlier in tye very early 8th century when the famous mink Gyoki visited the area and carved a statue of yakushi Nyorai.

That statue was enshrined on top of the mountain in what is now the temples Okunoin and the statue is the honzon of the temple.

I visited very early in the morning and there was no one about so I didn't go inside and see the statue.

The temple grounds are dominated by a huge Camphor tree.

Thought to be 600 years old, this ancient tree has a trunk circumference of 8 meters and is twenty meters high.

The previous post was about the first temple I visited on this, the 67th day of my walk, Korin-in.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Korin-in Temple 72 on the Kyushu pilgrimage


Korin-in is, like the previous pilgrimage temple I visited the evening before, Daiichi-in, an urban temple mostly built in concrete.

It is also a relatively new temple, being founded in 1896, at a time when Sasebo was growing rapidly as a naval base.

The one wooden building is a Bishamon-do enshrining Bishamonten.

The honzon is an Amida. Also enshrined in the main hall is a Gyoran Kannon, a not-so-common form of Kannon, as well as the obligatory Kobo Daishi, Aizen Myo, Fudo Myo, and a Jizo.

Outside are a couple of Fudo statues including quite a large one.

I visited at the start of day 67 of my walk around the Kyushu pilgrimage. The previous post was my diary for day 66 which includes links to the three pilgrimage temples I visited that day.

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.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Kurokamizan Daiichi-in Temple 104 on the Kyushu pilgrimage


Daiichi-in, the 104th temple of the Shingon Kyushu pilgrimage is located on the hillside overlooking downtown Sasebo in Nagasaki.

It was founded in 806 on Mount Kurokami near Takeo in what is now Saga.

It burned down in 1891 and because of the growth of Sasebo due to it being a major naval base, it was decided to rebuild there rather than its original site.

It opened in Sasebo in 1901, though most of the current buildings were built post 1978.

Kobo Daishi is said to have visited Mount Kurokami and prayed there before his journey to China.

On his return from China he revisited the mountain and while there carved a small Fudo Myo statue "with his fingernails". It is the "secret Buddha" enshrined in the Goma-do, photo 4 above.

After its founding in 806 it became a powerful temple in the region with 80 subsidiary temples under its control.

It is considered to be the first temple founded by Kobo Daishi in Hizen, the former province that now is largely Nagasaki and Saga prefectures,

The honzon is considered the Fudo statue carved by Kobo Daishi. In the main hall are enshrined Yakushi Nyorai, Amida Nyorai, and Senju Kannon. The temple is locally popular for the Seven Lucky Gods.

The previous post in this series on Day 66 of my first Kyushu pilgrimage was Seiganji Temple in Sasebo.