JAPAN TRAVELOGUE – DAY 10 – ARASHIYAMA – OTAGI NENBUTSU-JI TEMPLE

by Antonio Gil September. 14, 2020 447 views
rakan statues - representing Buddha’s disciples – were spread all over the place

rakan statues - representing Buddha’s disciples – were spread all over the place

they were all different from each other

they were all different from each other

we can see here a very happy guy

we can see here a very happy guy

Teresa's picture

Teresa's picture

Teresa's picture

Teresa's picture

The lighted one looked like a former Portuguese prime minister

The lighted one looked like a former Portuguese prime minister

And we also found a boxer

And we also found a boxer

♫♫ Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple ♫♫

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji is a temple on the outskirts of Arashiyama with a collection of 1200 unique and whimsical statues. It’s a rarely visited and interesting place that rewards the adventurous visitor.

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple is hidden in the hills in far western Arashiyama. It is most famous for its collection of 1200 Rakan statues that represent the disciples of the historical Buddha. These statues are a relatively recent addition to this temple.

The main hall dates from the Kamakura period (1185–1333) and houses the temple’s principle image: Kannon the spirit of mercy

In 1955, a new head priest was appointed. His name was Kocho Nishimura. Kocho Nishimura was not only a priest but an accomplished sculptor of Buddhist statues. He hit on the idea of having visitors carve their own statues for the temple under his guidance. These “rakan” statues, which represent Buddha’s disciples, were all added to the temple between 1981 and 1991, but look much older as they are now fairly covered with moss. Because each statue was carved by a different person, each one is completely unique, and many have humorous expressions or whimsical poses.

Explore the grounds and you will find a statue with a tennis racket, another with an old portable cassette player, one dandling a child on its knee and two more sharing a laugh and a cup of sake! if you are expecting Buddhist temples to be solemn and serious, then you may be surprised. What is really amazing though is that all of these statues were carved by amateurs. Kocho Nishimura must have been a good teacher!

www.insidekyoto.com/otagi-nenbutsu-ji-temple

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There are 19 comments , add yours!
G B 6 months, 3 weeks ago

how fascinating!! I bet some of them come to life at night....smile

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Antonio Gil Replied to G B 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Of course you would say something like that 😊😊

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
José Manuel 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Figuras de pedra, côr e arvores......... lindo. +1

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Antonio Gil Replied to José Manuel 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Um templo diferente de todos os outros. Obrigado Zé

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Quite unique and yet at the same time eerie. That is a lot of Buddha heads in one place. Thanks for sharing, this one was different smile

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Antonio Gil Replied to Camellia Staab 6 months, 3 weeks ago

It sure was. We spent some time there just looking at all those different faces

6 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Marsha 6 months, 4 weeks ago

The world is so full of amazing things. Thanks for sharing!

6 months, 4 weeks ago Edited
Antonio Gil Replied to Marsha 6 months, 4 weeks ago

I so agree with you Marsha

6 months, 4 weeks ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 7 months ago

Love the rakan, thanks for sharing

7 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil Replied to Berckmans Peter 7 months ago

My pleasure

7 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess 7 months ago

Did  2 carve one, to add to the collection?
These, are fabulous images of this uniquely beautiful place & time.
What a treat, as always, to be able to ride along next to U2!
You are so dependably generous, sharing all facets of your travels (appropriate verses, music & videos and your own fascinating commentary)
Thank U2!!!!
+1 smile +1
   Cheers!
 
ps...the moss growing on the statues, adds such wonderful additional dimensions...Mother Nature must have been inspired to add her own flourishes.....no???

7 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil Replied to Jay Boggess 7 months ago

No more stones available 😊😊. Mother Nature is always inspired. Thank you for your never ending support my friend

7 months ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Antonio Gil 7 months ago

Always a treat from U2!!!  Keep on Keepin' On!!!
+1 smile +1

7 months ago Edited
Tsao T-F 7 months ago

Interesting place. Each one is completely unique, and many have humorous expressions or whimsical poses. I did not went to this one. Thanks for sharing.smile

7 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil Replied to Tsao T-F 7 months ago

It was different from all the other temples I've visited. Thanks dear friend

7 months ago Edited
Francesc 7 months ago

Excelletn work Teresa and Antonio

7 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil Replied to Francesc 7 months ago

Thank you so much Francesc. It was a very interesting place. Out of the ordinary

7 months ago Edited
R Kuerbovich 7 months ago

Great work, congrats to both of you! How many buddha heads do you estimate there were in the temple?

7 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil Replied to R Kuerbovich 7 months ago

It is said there are around 1200 statues in this very curious temple. Thanks my friend

7 months ago Edited
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