Manryu-Ji temples

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Manryuuji 万竜寺 - 萬龍寺 Manryu-Ji
“Myriad Dragons Temple"

There are various temples with the name Manryu-Ji in Japan.


万竜寺、亀倉神社 - 宗帰命山万竜寺
Nagano, Suzaka town, Kamekura shrine
Tendai sect

Saint Tanshoo 但唱 Mokujiki Tansho 木喰但唱,
a monk and carver, came to this region around 1611 to practise austerities, especially mokujiki 木食修行, eating only barks of trees and a few vegetables for 1000 days. In 1617 his austerities practise ended and he build a small temple hall with 1000 statues which he carved himself.

Women came here to find the face of a lost child among the statues and pray for a child and family happiness. When they got pregnant, they made another offering of a statue.

萬龍寺のしだれ桜 shidarezakura

source : www.watarigraphic.com

The temple and shrine compound is also famous for its cherry blossoms in spring.

Manryuji no Kumasugi - cedar tree from Kumano

This tree is about 30 m high and maybe 300 years old. Its circumference is 5 m.
It is a natural treasure of Suzaka town since 1986.
There are two large cedar trees at the entrance to the temple.
They are in fact Kumano Sugi 熊野杉, the seedlings have been carried here from Kumano.

Famous trees from Nagano prefecture
source : www.hitozato-kyoboku.com


Saint Tanshoo 但唱 Mokujiki Tansho 木喰但唱
(? - 1641)

A monk of the Tendai sect. His teacher was Tanzei 弾誓. He practises austerities in the mountains of Shinano, Nagano and Kii, Wakayama.

In 1636 he founded the temple Nyorai-Ji 如来寺.
Statues of his five Wisdom Nyorai 五智如来像 are worshipped there.
They are well known under the name of
Takanawa no Daibutsu 高輪の大仏, the Big Buddha Statues of Takanawa.

They have later been placed in the temple Yoogyoku in 養玉院 Yogyoku-In in Tokyo, Shinawawa, Takanawa, where they can be seen today.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

In Gifu, Toki town 土岐市 there is a temple called
Tanshooji 霊合山但唱寺 Tansho-Ji
Legend knows that saint Kanshoo shoonin 閑唱上人 Kansho Shonin founded it and carved 1000 Buddha statues.
Kansho is the pupil of Tansho.
He is also related to the Tokugawa family of Kishu.
In the region, in Tsumagi town 妻木町 there live many people who have moved from Mikawa. They worked as stone masons in the region.

statue of Kosodate Jizo Bosatsu, made by Tansho
子育て地蔵 - 但唱作

At temple Anshooji 安性寺 Ansho-Ji, Nagano, Komagane town
source : www.city.komagane.nagano.jp

- REFERENCE 木食但唱 -


- - - - - Kobayashi Issa - - - - -

I went to Tokumanji Temple and prayed to Jizo there --


dan-dan ni oboro yo tsuki yo komoridoo

gradually the night mistier
hey, the moon deep in mist, hey
above the Child Protector's Hall  

Tr. Chris Drake

This somewhat complex hokku was written on 1/23 or March 12 in 1806, when Issa climbed up to a Shingon-school Buddhist temple called Tokumanji and prayed to its famous statue of the bodhisattva Jizo, known as Child-Rearing Jizo (子育て地蔵). The Jizo at this temple became very famous after it cured a dying three-year-old child that was declared by doctors to have no hope of recovery. The father of the child went to the Jizo Hall of the temple and prayed there for seven straight days, and on the seventh day Jizo appeared to the father in a vision and told him the child would get well. When the father rushed home, he found the child had indeed recovered. Soon pilgrims began coming to the temple to pray to Jizo, and an annual week-long Jizo Fair began to be held in the tenth month. Issa's prayers were also made at the same hall where the father was said to have prayed hard for seven days, so it seems to be the hall mentioned in the last line of the hokku.

The hokku is a bit unusual -- and becomes rather long in translation -- because it has as many double meanings as a waka and a rhythm and paratactic word order suggesting a children's song, no doubt in honor of Jizo, the patron bodhisattva and protector of children as well as of pregnant women and mothers who have lost a child and of travelers. In the first line Issa's climb up the stone steps (dan-dan) to the temple at the top of the hill is paralleled by gradual changes taking place in the sky.

In the second line Issa uses yo, a particle used when strongly pointing something out, especially to children. Issa also refers to another yo here that means "night," thereby pointing out that the misty spring night is gradually becoming mistier, with the mist steadily covering the moon and making everything a bit indistinct. The adjective oboro, "misty," "cloud-covered," modifies "moon" as well as "night": gradually the night has become an oborozuki-yo, a night dimly lit by a misty moon.

In the third line Issa has apparently reached the Jizo Hall in the temple. A komori-dou in its first meaning refers to a hall at a large Buddhist temple or a Shinto shrine in which pilgrims can stay and spend all their time in prayer or doing meditation. In this hokku, however, it seems to refer to the Jizo Hall, in which the father of the sick child many years earlier secluded himself and prayed to Jizo for seven days, as indicated by the second meaning, Child Protector's Hall, that is Jizo Hall. Secluded inside the hall -- much as the moon is now shrouded in thick mist or clouds -- sits the venerable Jizo, as powerful as ever, whether he is directly seen or not.

source : tanuki-bayashi.com/tokumanji
徳満寺 Temple Tokuman-Ji

A picture from Issa's time of the annual Jizo Fair at Tokumanji Temple in November. This was the only time of the year when it was possible to view the statue of Jizo in the temple's Jizo Hall. Issa visits in March. The temple is at the top of the picture, and at the bottom runs the Tone River, just northeast of Edo/Tokyo.

Chris Drake

. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .

. Anzan Kosodate 安産子育て - all about Children .
ko sazuke 子授御守 amulet for getting pregnant
kodakara no ishi 子宝石 stone to get pregnant
obi iwai 帯祝い amulet for a safe pregnancy


. Saint Mokujiki 木喰 / 木食 statue carver .

. Dragon Temples of Japan .


1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

Legend from Nagano

. bookon 亡魂と伝説 Bokon Legends about a dead soul .
Once the villagers were having a meeting in the evening, when suddenly they heard someone cry outside the window.
There were two naked men standing outside.
When the villagers chanted the Amida Buddha prayers, the men disappeared.
The two men were butchers, but because of their work they could not get any kechimyaku 血脈 linage charts.
When 閑唱上人 Saint Kansho came to 穢多村 Eta village and gave them Kechimyaku.
The two appeared in his dream, thanked him and then disappeared.