Sunday, February 9, 2014

Carpe Diem #396, Fujiidera (Temple 11)

Dear O-Henro ... Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Today we are going further with our Shikoku Pilgrimage along the 88 temples which are all at places were Kobo Daishi has been. We are still on the first part of this pilgrimage, in Tokushima Prefecture, one of the four 'countries' on the Isle of Shikoku.
Fujiidera is devoted to the Buddha of Medicine and Healing or Yakushi Nyorai, which we have met in one of earlier episodes this month.

Yakushi Nyorai

I love to tell you a little bit more about this Buddha's history. Starting in the 7th century in Japan, Yakushi was prayed to in the place of Ashuku (Akshobhya). Some of Yakushi's role has been taken over by Jizō (Ksitigarbha), but Yakushi is still invoked in the traditional memorial services for the dead.
Older temples, those mostly found in the Tendai and Shingon sects, especially those around Kyoto, Nara and the Kinki region often have Yakushi as the center of devotion, unlike later Buddhist sects which focus on Amitabha Buddha or Kannon Bodhisattva almost exclusively. Often, when Yakushi is the center of devotion in a Buddhist temple, he is flanked by the Twelve Heavenly Generals (十二神将 Jūni-shinshō?), who were twelve yaksha generals who had been converted through hearing the Bhaiṣajyaguruvaiḍūryaprabhārāja Sūtra:

“Wherever this sutra circulates or wherever there are sentient beings who hold fast to the name of the Medicine Buddha [Yakushi Buddha] and respectfully make offerings to him, whether in villages, towns, kingdoms or in the wilderness, we [the Twelve Generals] will all protect them. We will release them from all suffering and calamities and see to it that all their wishes are fulfilled”.

One of the Twelve Heavenly Generals

surrounded by his guards
the Buddha of Medicine heals the world -
full moon of spring

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Every city, village or town in Japan has symbols which are important for the city. Yoshinokawa has his own symbols and maybe they will inspire you to write haiku. Here are those symbols:

Rhododendron, Chrysanthemum and the Kingfisher (or Alcedo Atthis), all three are wellknown around the world and in Ancient Japan those symbols were also Kigo, seasonwords, to use in haiku. Through nature haiku is connected with Buddhism, but also with all times.

white chrysanthemum
between Baccarat roses
love forever

(c) Chèvrefeuille)

An awesome episode in which we have learned a little bit more about Buddhism and we will go on with our pilgrimage as O-Henro and tomorrow we will arrive at  Shozanji (the 12th temple). I just leave it there and love to share a picture of Fujjidera's wonderful Wisteria Garden.

Fujiidera's Wisteria Garden

surrounded temple
looks like a heavenly place
wisteria in full bloom

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope this post will inspire you all ... contribute your haiku to our Haiku Kai by linking your weblog to our haiku-family. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 11th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our next episode later on today. For now have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.
PS.: I am behind with commenting ... will catch up asap.

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