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Friday, July 31, 2015

Daisho-in Henjokutsu

Daisho-in (大聖院), formally named Takiyama Suishoji temple Daisho-in (多喜山/滝山 水精寺大聖院) located in Mt. Misen (弥山), is the oldest temple in Miyajima Island (宮島). It belongs to Shingon school Omuro party (真言宗御室派), in which Ninna-ji temple (仁和寺) in Kyoto is the head of temple. Daisho-in has made an alliance with Ninna-ji temple and several emperors have had official and private visits there. Main Hall (本堂) was built as the place for Emperor Toba (鳥羽天皇)'s prayer.

Inside of Henjokutsu
Although there is no historical evidence confirming the involvement of Kukai/Kobo daishi (空海/弘法大師) with Daisho-in (based on Wiki Japanese), it is said that Kukai landed in Miyajima island in 806 AD, gone through disciplines at Mt. Misen and developed the Daisho-in temple.


Image from Daisho-in HP
As depicted in cartoon map above, halls and buildings related to Daisho-in are scattered throughout Mt. Misen. Due to the limited time window of my stay in Miyajima island, I couldn't visit them all, however, one place caught my attention!!! It is called Henjokutsu (遍照窟), situated in the underground level of the oldest building, Daishido Hall (大師堂). 

Statue of Kukai???

"Henjokutsu" means cave (kutsu/窟) ubiquitously (hen/遍) illuminated (jo/照) by flames of happiness. It is a place to hope for peace in the world. The ceiling is overwhelmingly filled with lanterns and the floor is occupied with worshiped Buddha stone statues. Visiting there for worshiping is believed to benefit divine grace equivalent to those granted from Shikoku pilgrimage (multi-site pilgrimage of 88 temples associated with Kukai on the island of Shikoku/四国遍路). Sands from 88 temples for Shikoku pilgrimage are gathered there. All you have to do is to step on them all, which is regarded as pilgrimage of 88 temples in Shikoku island! Very convenient, isn't it?



Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wedding Ceremony At Itsukushima Shrine

This is a part 4 entry of Itsukushima Shrine.



When I was in Itsukushima shrine, I saw formally dressed Japanese getting together at Haiden Hall. Wedding ceremony was about to take place!!!



The base sounds of taiko (drum) broke the silence and echoed all over shrine. Then shinto priest appeared without making noise, sat down in front of three deities, and delivered norito (祝詞) prayer. 



The ceremony was solemn but was also heartwarming moment as I could see that young generation still follows our tradition. 





Happy Ever After!

This is Our World Tuesday 13, July 2015 entry.