October 17, 2019

Statue of Birushana butsu (Vairocana) : Engaku-ji (Butsuden)

Statue of Birushanabutsu (Vairocana) :Engaku-ji (butsuden)


In the Buddha hall filled with deep tranquility, Birushana Buddha is sitting and shining still on a lotus pedestal with a gracious look of wisdom in the pale light calmly streaming in through the windows.

According to Avatamsaka Sutra (the Flower Garland Sutra), Birushana Buddha (Vairocana or the shining one) originates from the sun god and is regarded as the central deity of the universe.

Birushana Buddha mercifully lightens up all things in the universe with his light of supreme wisdom and compassion. This universe is called "Rengezo Sekai", which means the paradise created by billions of Buddhas sitting on lotus flowers.


Statue of Jizo-bosatsu: Kencho-ji (Butsuden)

Statue of Jizo-bosatsu: Kencho-ji (Butuden)


Jizo Bosatsu is one embodiment of Kannon Bosatsu (Kannon Bodhisattva) who devotes himself to relieve all living things in this world of suffering.

He has a youthful monk-like figure holding Shakujo (priest's staff) in his right hand and Hoju (sacred gem) in his left hand.

He travels everywhere on foot with his staff to find agonizing people in the land of the living and compassionately relieves them by presenting his great wisdom (sacred gem). Furthermore, he goes into hell to rescue all lost souls from the flames of hell.


Statue of Shokannon: Engaku-ji (Oubai-in)

Statue of Shokannon: Engaku-ji (Oubai-in)


Buddha descends from his pure land to our earthly realm to save all living things universally. He transforms himself into various figures of "Kannon Bosatsu" to pityingly fulfill the diverse wishes of the distressed.

"Kannon" means the deity of mercy who can see through all things in this universe and "Bosatsu" means an avatar of Buddha who devotes himself to spiritually relieve all living creatures from this world of agony.

Shokannon Bosatsu is the most fundamental shape of Kannon Bosatsu and has a modest human-like figure. He wears the jeweled crown in which a small avatar of Amitabha is enshrined and he has a sacred lotus flower in his left hand as the symbol of his divine wisdom and mercy.


Statue of Shaka-nyorai: Tokei-ji

Statue of Shaka-nyorai: Tokei-ji


"Buddha is waiting on the other shore; that is, His world of Enlightenment, wherein there is no greed, no anger, no ignorance, no suffering, no agony, but where there are only the light of wisdom and the rain of compassion."


(Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai. "The Relief Offered by Buddha." Japanese-English, The Teaching of Buddha. 1272nd edition (2009). pp. 468. Tokyo: Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai.)

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Hagi (Lespedeza) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Hagi (Lespedeza) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Jyugatsu-sakura (Prunus × subhirtella cv. Autumnalis) flowers: Tokei-ji

Jyugatsu-sakura (Prunus × subhirtella cv. Autumnalis) flowers: Tokei-ji

Nira (Allium tuberosum) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Nira (Allium tuberosum) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Satokimadarahikage (Neope goschkevitschii) butterfly: Kita-kamakura

Satokimadarahikage (Neope goschkevitschii) butterfly: Kita-kamakura

Fuyo (Hibiscus mutabilis) and Sion (Aster tataricus) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Fuyo (Hibiscus mutabilis) and Sion (Aster tataricus) flowers: Kaizo-ji

August 25, 2019

Kamakura Great Buddha: Kotoku-in temple, Hase

Kamakura Great Buddha: Kotoku-in temple, Hase


As a seasonal event for adorning the end of summer, the colossal bronze statue of Buddha is lit up at night during the final week of August.

Being illuminated by the golden light, the Great Buddha is shining gloriously in the evening darkness, which makes me see the vision of its solemn gilded figure in far distant past. A lot of lamps which symbolize lotus flowers and sacred lights are twinkling gently on the approach to the Buddha.

The sea breeze from the nearby beach is surrounding me. In the calm voice of this warm breeze, I hear the silent prayers whispered by an untold number of past people for salvation.

(Please refer to the link destination, "the Great Buddha and Kotoku-in.")


Kamakura Great Buddha: Kotoku-in temple, Hase

Kamakura Great Buddha: Kotokuin temple, Hase


The Great Buddha of Kamakura is the seated image of Amitabha Buddha. In Buddhism, Amitabha or Amida Nyorai is the supreme deity who has infinite light of wisdom and measureless life to save all people from spiritual darkness and suffering in this transient world.

He is present in the Pure Land in the West and descends from there to greet the souls of the dead and lead them to his pure land.

The worshipers of the Pure Land sect of Buddhism have believed that they can certainly cross over into the Western Paradise after death by continuing to chant "Namu-amidabutu" ("I sincerely believe in Amitabha Buddha") wholeheartedly in this harsh earthly world.


Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji

Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji


According to the Flower Garland Sutra of Buddhism, countless lotus flowers adorn and envelop the pure land where Rushanabutsu (the central deity shining on the whole universe) is sitting. The infinite light of wisdom emitted by this shining one illuminates living things all over the universe to lead them to spiritual enlightenment.

The bright sunlight of the midday sun is making this flower shine radiantly as if a small shining deity inside this flower were emitting the limitless light of wisdom and truth to the world.


Kamakura Great Buddha: Kotoku-in temple, Hase

Kamakura Great Buddha: Kotoku-in temple, Hase

Fuyo (Hibiscus mutabilis) flowers: Eisho-ji

Fuyo (Hibiscus mutabilis) flowers: Eisho-ji