Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Temple No.16 Saikō-ji and Sunday walk around town

In Shinto, when the spirit Kami enters a rock or a tree, as a manifestation of the energy/nature spirit in everything, it can become enshrined, like this giant old tree. The torii gate behind and Kundan standing there in the foreground give an idea of scale. The crutches holding up this tree are not the usual wooden ones, rather they are great steel supports.

Remarkable features of Temple No.16 Saikō-ji included the decorated ceiling leading to the shrine itself, an enshrined Daikoku in a yurt with straw thatch formed from an old sake brewing barrel and a corridor of 88 deities of the Buddhist pantheon, representing in miniature the course of the 88 temple Shikoku pilgrimage. statues, each in a different pose and many of different appearances and Asian origins. The building is plastered with paper Senja-fuda, votive tablet left as proof of pilgrim's visits (in former times wooden tablets nailed on, a practice banned due to its damaging affect on the buildings).