Sunday, December 13, 2015

Hofukuji Jizo-Do


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These are a unique form of Nio that I have not seen anywhere else. They are carved as diagonal spars that support the porch roof on the Jizo Do at Hofukuji, a small temple in the Teramachi district of Hagi. Only the Jizo Do remains, the main hall being destroyed in early Meiji.

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I have been unable to find out anything about them, so if anyone has seen anything like this before, please leave a comment.

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There is a legend connected to a Jizo statue here. A local man married a beautiful woman who died giving birth to a son. The father hired a nurse to take care of his son. Later he remarried and his second wife gave birth to a son. The nurse used to take both boys to play in the grounds of Hofukuji. The wife beacme increasingly jealous of the first so, believing that her son deserved to inherit the family business, so one day took a red-hot poker and struck the first son, apparently killing him.

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Next day however, the son was fine with not a mark on him. Later a Jizo statue at the temple was discovered with a burn mark across its face, causing the wife to repent and become a devotee of the statue.

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This is a rather unusual statue of Daruma Daishi, the Japanese name for Bodhidharma, the legendary monk who brought Buddhism to China.

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