NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/1/11


大窪寺 Ookubo-ji Ookubo Temple

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The Ookubo-ji is a temple located in Sanuki-shi, Kagawa Prefecture, and is the eighty-eighth temple of the eighty-eight pilgrimage sites scattered across Shikoku (smallest of the four main islands of Japan).
   These eighty-eight pilgrimage sites were established by Kobo-Daishi Kukai (Japanese monk, scholar, poet and artist) as places of enlightenment and training, and also as holy places for people to get rid of their misfortunes and sorrows.
   It is said that the number 'eighty-eight' represents the number of worldly desires humans have, and that by navigating the eighty-eight pilgrimage sites, a pilgrim can be liberated from these desires while his true ambitions and hopes can be granted.
   The eighty-eighth temple, the Ookubo-ji, is considered to be the final destination of the religious process. At this temple, the deity of the Buddha of Healing (Yakushi-nyorai) is enshrined. Normally, the statue is holding a medicine vase in his right hand, but the statue at this temple is holding a triton. This is because the triton is supposed to strike away people's suffering and distress.  
A gorgeous double Tahoutou pagoda stands behind the main temple. Even further behind the site, lies a cave in which Kukai reputedly trained. Pilgrims who cleanse themselves of the eighty-eight desires and finish the whole religious process at this temple, leave their canes here as a tribute and to show that they have safely finished the transformation. The number of canes left at the temple is innumerable.
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