Showing posts with label zen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label zen. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Toko-ji Temple, Hagi


The gate to Tokoji in Hagi has a somewhat Chinese feel because it is an Obaku Zen Temple founded in 1691. Obaku was a new sect of Zen founded by Chinese monks who came to Nagasaki to serve the Chinese community there.


Tokoji was founded by the third Mori lord as a second temple housing the graves of the Mori and their wives. The 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, and 11th Lords are buried here. The other are buried at Daishoin on the other side of town.


Most of the structures date from the 17th Century and are listed Cultural Properties. The temple complex is much reduced in size from earlier times, but it is still quite large and spacious, set in woods on the eastern edge of town.


The honzon, the principle deity statue, is Shaka Nyorai, which in English we would call the historical Buddha.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Shikoku 88 Temple 11 Fujiidera


The first ten temples on the Shikoku Pilgrimage are all on the north side of the Yoshino River. Temple 11, Fujiidera (which means Wisteria Temple) is the first one south of the river.


Reputedly founded by Kukai, the temple was converted to a Rinzai Zen temple in the Edo Period and is one of only 3 Zen temples on the 88 temple pilgrimage.


The main deity is Yakushi Nyorai and legend says Kukai carved the wooden statue (honzon) though historical evidence suggests otherwise. Like most temple, it has suffered repeated fires, but the honzon has always survived unscathed and so the temple has a reputation as offering protection from disaster.


From here its is a steep, long climb up into the mountains to temple 12.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Jizo at Togaku-ji


I was up in Matsue last week and took the opportunity to walk around the area north of the castle and visit some shrines and temples.


One temple I visited I had not been to before, Togaku-ji, had a big collection of Jizo.


The main hall oif the temple was being renovated, hence covered in green tarp, so I couldnt see what art may have been inside.


As well as all the jizo there was also a hall containing 500 statues of the Rakan, which I believe were disciples of the Buddha. Photos of those will come later.


The raked gravel along the entranceway hinted that this was a zen temple, which it turns out to be. It belongs to the Soto sect.


I could find no stories or historical personages connected to the temple, so it won't be found in any tourist guides, but like many shrines and temples off the beaten track it was filled with fascinating art.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Not Jabba the Hut


I am almost certain that this is not a statues of Jabba The Hut, though the resemblance is uncanny. I am almost certain that it is a statue of Daruma, the Japanese name given to the Bodhidharma, known as the founder of Zen.


Bodhidharma is believed to have been an Indian monk who took new Buddhist teaching to China where it became known as Ch'an. When Japan appropriated Ch'an they called it Zen.

Daruma dolls are found all over Japan. They have no arms or legs as the Bodhidarma spent so many years in ascetic meditation that his limbs dropped off through lack of use.


Daruma dolls are usually sold without eyes. They are used to help achieve your goals. After purchasing one a single eye is painted in as you set your self a goal. When you achieve your goal you paint in the second eye.


Though Daruma is technically a buddhist symbol, most of the photos on this page were taken in shrines.