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Entakuzan Hōkōji and Rokuya Daibutsu

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Exploring the right banks of the Tama River upstream of Hamura, I happened to pass Entakuzan Hōkōji, a temple of the Sōtō School of Buddhism dating to the 15th century, famous for one of Japan's recent Great Buddha statues, that of Rokiya Daibutsu (鹿野大仏), an 18-metre tall bronze cast in Yamagata in 2018. It is a bronze image of Shakanyorai (釈迦如来) in the lotus position. The statue's base is six metres tall, making the bronze statue a good 12 metres, just about a metre shorter than the Great Buddha of Kamakura.

Entakuzan Hōkōji (塩澤山 寳光寺)


In the Kamakura period (1185-1333), a Tendai temple by the name of Bodai-in (菩提院) was erected in Shiozawa, Musashi Province (modern-day Nishitama, Tōkyō). Bodai-in was associated with Minamoto no Yoritomo (源頼朝, 1147-1199), the founder of the Kamakura shogunate. In 1478, Isen Monsai (以船文済), the head priest of the Sōtō sect in Kai Province, converted Bodai-in to the Sōtō sect and renamed it Hōkōji. Having inherited Shōkannon (聖観音), the bodhisattva of compassion, as the principal deity from Bodai-in, Monsai decided to keep it in place rather than install an effigy of Shakanyorai, the principal object of worship in Sōtō-shū.

Entakuzan Hōkōji (塩澤山 寳光寺)

According to legend, Monsai was living in a thatched hut on the temple grounds when an injured deer wandered in front of his abode one day. The deer would visit Monsai day after day, so he followed the animal and found it healing his wounded leg in a small hot spring gushing forth in a valley north of the hut. After a while, the leg was completely cured, and the deer left the mountain. Monsai called the spring Shikanoyu (鹿の湯, "Deer spring") and built a hut and a bathing room for people suffering from injuries. Rumours of the spring's healing powers spread among the locals, who soon came in droves to cure their ailments. Shikanoyu was said to be helpful for injuries and skin diseases and remained popular until the Meiji period. It is still renowned as one of Tama's seven hot springs.

Entakuzan Hōkōji (塩澤山 寳光寺)


Entakuzan Hōkōji (塩澤山 寳光寺)


Entakuzan Hōkōji (塩澤山 寳光寺)


Entakuzan Hōkōji (塩澤山 寳光寺)


Entakuzan Hōkōji (塩澤山 寳光寺)


Entakuzan Hōkōji (塩澤山 寳光寺)


Entakuzan Hōkōji (塩澤山 寳光寺)

A wooden statue of Darumasan or Bodhidharma, a semi-legendary Buddhist monk who lived in the 5th or 6th century.

The temple halls burned down several times in the Edo and Meiji periods; only the main gate survived in its original shape. In the Shōwa period, the 32nd abbot Yasaka Akimichi (八坂昭道) restored the seven-structured temple compound (七堂伽藍 Shichidō garan) from its original Edo-era drawings. He decided to establish Nishitama, the temple's location, as a centre of Buddhism. Erecting a statue of Shakanyorai was part of his plans. However, Shodo passed away in 1995 and was succeeded by his eldest son Yoshihide (八坂良秀), who became the 33rd abbot. Yoshihide went ahead with the daibutsu project.

Rokiya Daibutsu (鹿野大仏)


Rokiya Daibutsu (鹿野大仏)


Rokiya Daibutsu (鹿野大仏)


Rokiya Daibutsu (鹿野大仏)

The construction committee was set up in 2013, while work on the actual statue began in 2015, using techniques already employed 1,000 years ago. The Daibutsu, made of bronze, was cast in Yamagata and was assembled by some 100 craftsmen. It was completed in February 2018 and cost about 400m JPY.

Rokiya Daibutsu (鹿野大仏)

The Daibutsu is about 12 metres tall and 11 metres wide: the ears measure about two meters, and it is Japan's second largest seated Buddha after the Great Buddha of Todaiji Temple (some 14.7 metres high). In contrast, the Great Buddha of Kamakura (approximately 11.39 meters tall) has fallen to the third position after completing the Great Buddha of Kano (Rokuya Daibutsu). The upper part of the pedestal, the lotus seat, is about 3 metres tall and 14 metres in diameter. The octagonal pedestal - the lower part - is three metres tall and about 15 metres wide.

Rokiya Daibutsu (鹿野大仏)


Rokiya Daibutsu (鹿野大仏)


Rokiya Daibutsu (鹿野大仏)


Rokiya Daibutsu (鹿野大仏)


Rokiya Daibutsu (鹿野大仏)

Video:


The bridge with hundreds of wind chimes (風鈴 furin).




Address: 3392 Hirai, Hinode, Nishitama District, Tōkyō 190-0182, phone: 042-597-0711.

Hours: daily 09:00 - 16:00, closed Wednesdays.

Admission (Daibutsu): 300 JPY (adults and junior high school students), 100 JPY (children).

Access: by bus from Fussa Station on the JR Ōme Line (青梅線), Musashi Itsukaichi Station on the JR Itsukaichi Line (五日市線), or Musashi-Masuko Station (JR Itsukaichi Line) and walk for about 25 minutes (2.1 kilometres). There is free parking for visitors to the temple.


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thomas
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〒190-0182 東京都西多摩郡日の出町平井3392

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