Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hasso Daishi


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I passed by this little temple as I was walking between Temple 14 and Temple 15 of the Shikoku Pilgrimage, and was struck by its unusual color scheme.

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It wasn't marked on the guide maps I was using, but it enshrines Iwafune Jizoson and the Hasso Daishi.

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Hasso Daishi are the Eight Patriarchs of the esoteric teachings that became known as Shingon in Japanese. Beginning with Nagarjuna, the first five were Indian, the sixth and seventh were Chinese, and it was from the seventh, Huiguo, that Kukai, the eighth and final one, received the title.

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The ornamentation on the roof certainly seems to me to be Chinese. This temple is listed as bangai #44 of 50. As well as the 88 regular temples of the pilgrimage there are 20 "bangai" temples. There are also another 200 "bangai" sites that have a connection with Kukai so maybe there are 50 in Tokusthima.

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Maybe the cat is the ninth?

2 comments:

  1. I'm always amazed at the depth of your knowledge about Japanese religious traditions and mythologies. I'm willing to bet that few Japanese themselves know as much about these as you do. I wonder what the sources you most rely on, besides your own careful observations and visits to the shrines and temples.

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  2. Hi Phil..... actually I know little about Buddhism.... I mostly use the web and of course I read a lot :).... also my wife helps with translating Japanese sources....

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