NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/2/12


大分 清水寺 Ooita Shimizu-dera Oita Shimizudera Temple

Jp En

The old Shimizudera Temple is located beside Hodai Temple. It is located on the Fudarakusan mountain and it belongs to the Soto sect of Buddhism. It is also called Shimizu Kannon Temple. Its principal image is the Jyuichimen Sente Kannon.

The nearby water that gushes down the mountain is counted as one of the 'top 15 waters of Toyo no Kuni'. It is said that the water quality has never changed since the Heian period. Even today it moistens the arable lands below. The water is reputed to have the 'power to confer immortality'. It is also known to be good for stomach complaints and diabetes.

The Shimizudera Temple is located in front of a forest of Castanopsis trees. In fact, just viewing the forest gives the sense that one's life may become longer.
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2007/1/25


西大寺観音院 Saidai-ji-kannon-in Saidaiji Temple and Kannon'in Temple

Jp En

Saidaiji Temple and Kannon'in Temple are located to the north of Eian Bridge, which spans the Yoshii River. This river flows through eastern Okayama prefecture.

The principal image of Saidaiji is of the Senju Kannon or Thousand-armed Avalokiteśvara, and the temple flourished as a branch of Mt Koya's Shingon Buddhism. Saidaiji was established about 1200 years ago. Anryu-shonin founded it in 770~781, but it was renamed as Saidaiji in 1221. According to the temple's history, there were several halls (including Hondo, Jyugyodo, Miedo, Shodo, Kyozo and Kairou) before it was destroyed in a fire in 1229. We know from this that it was a huge temple.

Other than the temple itself, it is famous for a hadaka matsuri ('naked festival') that takes place annually on the 3rd Saturday in February. During the event, nearly naked men undergo a water ritual called 'mizugori' then fight for two wooden sticks called 'shingi'. It is counted as one of Japan's three major eccentric festivals.
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NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - 日本語に切り替える NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - to english

"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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