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.

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......

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