Saturday, August 28, 2010

Matarajin Shrine

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Matarajin Shrine is located next to the main hall in Gakuen-Ji Temple, though the shrine originally stood behind Izumo Taisha.

It was dismantled and carried up into the mountains probably in the 16th Century.

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Matarajin ( or Madarajin or Madarashin) was brought back from China in the 9th Century by the Tendai monk Ennin as a protector of the Amida Sutra, and so has strong links with Tendai. Gakuen-Ji is a Tendai temple.

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Attached to the front of the shrine is a buddhist building that houses 2 statues. The building is opened once every 33 years.

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Some old statues of Matarajin have 3 heads, Dakiniten, Shoten, and Benzaiten.

Dakiniten is one of the constituent influences on the kami Inari, and next to Matarjin Shrien is a small Inari shrine.

1 comment:

  1. The second photo is especially stunning — all those textures! And I love the foxes guarding the Inari shrine. Thank you, Jake.

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