Sunday, July 2, 2017

Samurai carvings at Yasaka Shrine in Oita

Unlike the carvings on the gate at Yusuhara Hachimangu, the carvings on the Yasaka Shrine gate are cruder.

Another big difference is that are they painted quite brightly.

The subject of the carvings is also different..... here they are of samurai.though I have een unable to find out the story that is being depicted.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Dai Sekirinzan

Dai Sekirinzan is at the northernmost point of the main island of Okinawa. It is a karst and geologists believe it to be the oldest part of Okinawa.

Being a karst it has many strange eroded rock formations, and within it are many ancient Okinawan shrines. The place is known as a "Power Spot".

There is also a lot od strange vegetation, notably Banyan trees,

There are trails throughout the park, some leading to viewpoints looking down on Cape Hedo, the tip of Okinawa. It was here that they have some of the sacred white snakes I posted about before.

Ishigaki Sea Salt

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Yasaka Shrine, Motomachi, Oita

Located on the hilltop above the stone buddhas of Motomachi and among several old temples is Yasaka Shrine. A branch of the famous Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto.

As a Yasaka Shrine the main kami enshrined is Susano, along with various members of his family.According the the shrine it was founded in the late 8th century.

The wooden komainu in the entrance gate were rather nice, and there were several unidentified small shrines within the grounds, but the most interesting thin was the carvings on the main gate.

Unlike the relief carvings at Yusuhara Hachimangu, these were all painted and somewhat cruder.... that'll be the next post.....

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Senpukuji, Kunisaki

Founded in the 14th Century as a training monastery for Zen monks, Senpukuji is located on the west side of the Kunisaki peninsula.

With advance bookings it is possible to take zazen classes nowadays.

One of the halls is thatched and is registered as an Important Cultural property. The Christian warlord Otomo Sorin burned the temple to the ground in his campaign against Buddhism and Shinto.

There was lots of lovely fall colors when I visited in late November

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Stone Buddhas of Oita City

While not as impressive nor numerous as the stone Buddhas to the south of Oita City in Usuki or to the north in the Kunisaki Penisula, There are some example of stone buddhas, ie relief carving directly in rock, in Oita City.

To the south of the modern downtown area is the old town of Motomachi, and along a short historical walk that takes in some old temples and shrines are a few examples.

The one shown here are the Motomachi Stone Buddhas and the Iwayaji Temple Stone Buddhas.

They havent been restored, but they cost nothing to view. If you are in Oita then the historic walk is a nice break.

Yuzukosho (yuzu pepper) is a signature product from Usuki & Hita

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Utsu Shrine

Utsu Shrine is located in the little fishing port of Ocho on Osaki Shimozima Island in the Aki Nada chain of islands in the Inland Sea between Hiroshima and Shikoku.

It was founded in 773 and the kami enshrined here is Yasomagatsuhi no kami which translates as "countless magatsuhi gods" with magatsuhi being a kami that brings about sin, pollution, disaster, disorder etc etc. The kami was produced from the pollutions experienced by Izanagi when he visited Izanami in Yomi, the underworld.

In 1217 a further two kami were added, Kannaobi and Onaobi, which can be translated as Divine Renewal Godm & Great renewal God. They "came into existence" right after Magatsuhi as "rectification".

The shrine became known for protection at sea as well as protection against all forms of "pollution".

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Kyushu Pilgrimage Temple 26 Fukuju-in

The 26th temple on the 108 temple Shingon Pilgrimage around Kyushu, Fukuju-in, is located near the ruins of Funai castle in Oita City.

In the 17th Century is was moved inside the castle grounds and used as the family temple of the Matsudaira. In the Meiji period when the castle was decommissioned it was moved to its present location.

The Honzon of the temple is Fudo Myo O, but the main hall was locked up so I couldnt see it. Among the statues in the small grounds was a Benzaiten. It may be related to a story in the temple records of a Hitobashira. Hitobashira were human sacrifices , buried alive beneath castles and bridges and even riverbanks.

According to this story, when the castle was built a young maiden was buried alive beneath the foundations. She clutched a small statue of Benzaiten to herself.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ikuchi Bridge

The sun was getting low as I approached Ikuchi Bridge on the first day of my walk from Honshu to Shikoku along the Shimanami Kaido.

Connecting Innoshima with Ikuchijima, it is a cable-stayed bridge built in 1991.

The total length is 790 meters with the main span being 490 meters. The two supports are delta shaped.

Once across to Ikuchijima I had to find somewhere to lay my sleeping bag for the night.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Inside Art Plaza

The former Prefectural Library in Oita City, originally constructed in 1966, was converted, under the direction of the original architect Arata Isozaki, in 1996 to the Art Plaza.

Entry is free and various exhibitions and performances take place there.

On the second floor are rooms devoted to the architectural works of Arata Isozaki, including plans, drawings, photos, and models.

This model shows another library designed by Isozaki, this one in Kitakyushu.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Iwami Kannon Pilgrimage Temple 4 Anrakuji

The sun was close to setting at the end of my second day walking the Iwami Kannon Pilgrimage when I arrived at Anrakuji.

I did not expect to see many grand temples on this pilgrimage as it is just around my local area, but the Nio here impressed me.

The temple is located on a hillside outside of Oda City, not far from the sea. It is a Shingon temple and was founded at the end of the 10th Century.

It was a pleasant temple with enough statues to keep me interested......