Monday, February 27, 2012

Shikoku 88 Temple 7 Jurakuji


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Only one kilometer from temple 6, Jurakuji is the eighth temple on the Shikoku Pilgrimage. The name means "temple of ten Joys" and refers to the 10 joys awaiting believers after death.

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There were many Mizuko Jizo in the grounds, the small Jizo statues erected for the souls of aborted children.

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This wonderful statue is of Aizen Myo-o, one of the wrathful, fierce-looking deities originally Hindu but now seen as emanations of the 5 Wisdom Kings. Aizen, known as the King of Sexual Passion,  converts lust into spiritual awakening and saves people from the sufferings associated with love.

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Jurakuji was, according to legend, founded by Kukai who also carved the statue of the main deity Amida Nyorai.

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The temple complex used to be much larger but was burned down in the late 17th Century and rebuilt later, though the current main hall only dates from the Meiji era.

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