NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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大分 五百羅漢 Ooita Gohyaku-rakan The 500 Rakan of Oita

Jp En

Gyoku-ho-dorin, the 15th resident priest of Toko Temple (which has a history of 612 years), asked Yoshino Kakunojo, a Hide stone craftsman, to sculpt 521 statues of rakan. Starting from 1863, it took him 19 years to complete.

The sculpting of the rakan was to gain merit for the local people. Usually rakan do not appear to have human face, but these statues are carved to represent four different emotions, which make them peculiar. Also at this site behind the main building is a bussokuseki (a carved stone foot) called 16 Rakan. It is modeled on a similar one at Todaiji Temple in Nara. The size of this rare bussokuseki is about 48.5cm.

The rakan temple, standing in the harsh rocky mountains, was established in 645 by an Indian monk. Many visitors come here to pray for safety and good work.

Within the cave are over 3777 statues, of which the 500 rakan in the Murodo are the most famous. Standing in the entrance is a statue of the Zenkai monk, which contains his relics.
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羅漢淵 Rakan-buti Rakan-buchi Ravine

Jp En

Rakan-buchi Ravine is located in Amagasemachi, Hita, Oita Prefecture. It is between JR Sugikawachi and Amagase stations, and is on the northern side of the Kusu River with a cliff rising 30m on one bank.

National Route 210 snakes alongside the Kusu River, and on rainy days the water runoff from the rocky cliff forms many miniature waterfalls. Gazing at the surrounding view of nature while relaxing in the Yunozuri Hot Springs nearby is another way of enjoying the ravine.

Also near the ravine is a cave where, according to legend, a defeated Heike soldier fleeing from the enemy took refuge and carved a rakan statue for salvation. The statue can still be seen inside the cave.

The rustic view of rocky cliffs surrounded by nature is a pleasurable sight to the observer. And Rakan-buchi is a place where one can taste the true charm of nature.
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