Monday, July 17, 2017

An Oita Shopping Arcade


On my way out of town to walk upriver to Bungo Ono I passed through one of Oita's covered arcades.


This one had a huge model of what I believe is a Portuguese sailing ship. commemorating the city's historical connection with Portuguese trade as well as Christianity.


Arcades are a pleasant way to walk across a city without having to deal with traffic too much


Though during the daytime they can be crowded with pedestrians and bicycles


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Shodoshima Pilgrimage Temple 6 Tanoura-an


Early morning on my first day walking the Shodoshima Pilgrimage  and I came down out of the bamboo forest into the upper part of the little, but famous, fishing village of Tanoura.


Tanoura-an is the small buddhist temple for the village, but it is also the shrine. They are quite clear that they didn't separate the two when ordred to by the government in the late 19th Century.


Obviously there was once a huge tree here :). The main deity of the temple is Amida.


In its own little case was a Jizo statue that attracts people from further away than the village as it has a reputation for removing warts.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Kyushu Pilgrimage Day 12 Oita to Bungo Ono


Day 12 was going to be a long day, but I kept my room in Oita and would come back by train so I could walk the day without a heavy pack.


My route was inland following the Ono River as far as Bungo Ono. Along the way there would be numerous shrines, some cliff carvings, 2 pilgrimage temples, and some great views.


The second of the pilgrimage temples has a claim to be the oldest temple in all of Japan......


The weather was great in late February, though a little chilly in the shadows....


Friday, July 7, 2017

Yukie Shrine, Osafune


Coming to the end of my first day walking along the Chugoku Kannon Pilgrimage and after spending a few hours walking down the banks of the Yoshii River in Okayama, I arrived at the village of Osafune.


Yukie Shrine is at the north end of what was a swordmakers village. The kami enshrined is known as the patron of swordsmiths, though I could not find a name. Sometimes Inari has that role.


It is known as a shrine to pray for relief from eyes diseases as the legend says that Takauji Ashikaga prayed here and his eye disease was healed.


Just south of the shrine are workshops where swords are still made and a sword museum, and that is where I headed to end the day.


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.


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.


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.


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