NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/2/15


奈良 大願寺 Nara Daigan-ji Nara Daigan Temple

Jp En

Nara Daigan Temple is an Omuro Shingon Buddhist temple in Ouda-ku, Uda, Nara Prefecture. The name of the mountain where it is sited is Mt Satta.

Nara Daigan Temple is also called Shichifuku-ji. Soga-no-umako established the temple on the order of the prince Shotoku. During the Edo period, the Uda Matsuyama clan preserved it.

The principal image of Nara Daigan Temple is a statue of the Eleven-headed Kannon-bosatsu. The temple was once burnt down yet the image was saved miraculously. As a result, the image is now called the 'Non-burning Kannon'.

It is also believed that the image can help avert fire disasters. Within the precinct, rare items include Buddhist stones and Fudezuka of Morino Yoshinori. It is famous for its Lenten fare.
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2007/1/29


大迫磨崖仏 Osako-magaibutsu Giant Buddha Rock Carving

Jp En

In Chitose, Bungo-ono, Oita Prefecture, there is an impressive sculpture of the Dainichi-Nyorai Buddha (Vairocana: the embodiment of Dharmakaya) carved from rock. It is said to have been made by Nichira in 1533.

The rock sculpture is about 3.2m high and was made using a technique called 'sekishin-sozo' in which the body is carved from stone; the face, arms and legs are made of clay; and the robe is made of plaster.

More than half of the face of the sculpture, which has an intimidating and forceful expression, is covered with dirt and clay which, along with its monstrous torso, creates a distinct and extraordinary atmosphere. The sculpture draws visitors into a compelling and profound world.

Since ancient times, locals profess that the sculpture is an 'ushigami', whose reputed power to work wonders and answer prayers attracts visitors and worshippers.

Festivals take place here twice a year on 28 January and 27 August. In 1976, the sculpture was designated as an Important Cultural Property of Oita.
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2007/1/23


大岩の藤水 Ooiwano-fujimizu Fuji Water of Ooiwa

Jp En

Ooiwasan Nisekiji Temple is famous for its holy water called 'fujimizu' (fuji water), which is believed to cure ailments of the eyes. The temple is in Nakanigawa-gun, Toyama Prefecture.

The 'Etchu-kujiki' records relate a legend from 1702 about a blind farmer who lived in Echigo. One day, he received a divine message from Fudo-Myoo (Vidyaraja, one of Buddhism's Five Kings of the four cardinal directions) telling him to wash his eyes under a 'fuji' tree near a waterfall in Nisekiji Temple. The farmer heeded Fudo-Myoo's words and, immediately after washing his eyes, was able to open them and see again.

To this day at the temple, the spring water that wells out around the statue of Fudo-Myoo (an important cultural property of Japan), has been known as Fujimizu, and is believed to miraculously cure eye diseases.

Also within this temple is the megusuri-no-ki ('eyewash tree'), said to cure presbyopia. Dried megusuri-no-ki for decocting in tea is sold here and has proved popular with visitors.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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