Statue of Dainichi Nyourai 大日如来坐像

2014.07.28 (Mon)


The statue of Dainichi Nyorai in the Takatsuji area is said to have been carved by Mokujiki Shonin* as he sat on a straw mat in his accommodation’s entrance, eating dumplings made of kneaded buckwheat flour. The 82cm tall rough-cut statue was carved from a single giant sakura tree. The people of Takatsuji hold a prayer ceremony to the statue on 28 July each year.


* Mokujiki Shonin was a monk from an ascetic Buddhist sect. Born in 1718, he converted to Buddhism at 22 and underwent strict ascetic training which prohibited the consumption of grains, fish, boiled food and salt, rules he followed for the rest of his life. At the age of 83, he is said to have realised “to become kind, people need to receive kindness”. Over the following ten years, until his death, he travelled around Japan carving over 1000 religious sculptures with characteristic smiling faces.


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