Hotsumisakiji Shikoku 24


Hotsumisakiji 最御崎寺 Hotsumisaki-Ji

. 四国お遍路さん Henro Pilgrims in Shikoku . - General Information -

. Shikoku Henro Temple List .


Nr. 24 - 室戸山 Murotozan 明星院 Myosho-In 最御崎寺 Hotsumisaki-Ji

高知県室戸市室戸岬町4058-1 / 4058-1 Murotomisakichō, Muroto-shi, Kōch

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It is a long three-day walk down the coast from Temple 23 to Cape Temple on Cape Muroto. But, if you tune out the traffic and the fact that you are walking on the side of the highway all the way down the coast, you see that it is a beautiful walk. The scenery can be breathtaking and the breeze blowing off the coast is refreshing.

Having been unable to reach his goal of enlightenment on Mt. Tairyū, Kōbō Daishi came here to try again. He was 19 when he came, and he found a cave to meditate in down at sea level on the East side of the tip of the cape. He moved in and said that he wouldn't leave until he had completed his task. Three years later, when he was 22 years old, Kōbō Daishi achieved enlightenment and dedicated his life to the salvation of all mankind. As legend puts it, upon the completion of the gumonjihō early one morning, the morning star came into his mouth at dawn.

To commemorate his achievement, he took the name Kūkai, built Cape Temple on the top of the hill at the tip of the cape, carved a statue of Kokūzō Bosatsu, and enshrined it as the honzon. Because of this history, this temple has always been an important pilgrimage temple and has always enjoyed the support of the imperial family and the Daimyō of Tosa.

The temple is commonly called Higashidera. The marble statues of Nyoirin Kannon, Gakkō, and Yakushi are considered National Treasures.

Near the cave in which Kōbō Daishi meditated is another cave called the 'Twisting Winds' cave. The local people continually suffered from the winds blowing in from the Pacific Ocean. To alleviate this, Kōbō Daishi twisted the wind in on itself, thus causing the rocks of the cave to look corkscrewed. This cave also shelters the souls of dead children.

In the temple grounds is a large boulder about 3' high and 4' wide with small, palm-sized stones laying in depressions along the top. When you strike the boulder with the smaller stones, musical tones are given off. Not just a CLACK of one stone hitting another, but a clack accompanied by a distinct musical tone, with different sized rocks producing different tones.

Frederick Starr talks about the famous Myōjōseki (Bright Star Stone? Morning Star Stone?). A deity appeared to Kōbō Daishi and Kōbō Daishi embedded it in this stone, which has shone ever since. He also talks about the temple's "potatoes not to be eaten." Apparently, these potatoes are sliced raw and stamped with a red seal. They must not be eaten but, instead, should be held over water so that you can see the reflection of the seals in the water. The water is then used as a cure for disease. Before the reflection is made, however, the water is offered in a cup in the tokonoma.

As an aside, old pilgrimage guidebooks say of Tosa, "Tosa wa oniguni yado ga nai." (Tosa is the land of demons where there are no inns). I didn't find that to be true, however. There were plenty of inns, uncountable numbers of friendly people, and abundant amounts of friendship.
- source : www.shikokuhenrotrail.com

The main statue is Kokuzo Bosatsu 虚空蔵菩薩.

- Chant of the temple
明星の出でぬる方の東寺 くらき迷いはなどかあらまし
Myōjō no idenurukata no higashidera kurakimayoi wa nadoka aramashi

shuin 朱印 temple stamp

omamori お守り amulet

- Homepage of the temple
- source : www.88shikokuhenro.jp/kochi/24

. Kokuzo Bosatsu 虚空蔵菩薩 Kokūzō .
Akashagarbha Bodhisattva


番最御崎寺の鐘石 The "singing stone", bell stone of the temple
If you hit it with a stone, it makes the sound of a beautiful metal bell.

Look at more photos of this pilgrim in Kochi 高知県 :
- source : harano/wok


. Fudō Myō-ō, Fudoo Myoo-Oo 不動明王 Fudo Myo-O
Acala Vidyârâja - Vidyaraja – Fudo Myoo .

. . Pilgrimages to Fudo Temples 不動明王巡礼
Fudo Myo-O Junrei - Introduction - .

The Five Great Wisdom Kings, Godai Myo-O - 五大明王
. The Five Great Elements of the Universe - 地水火風空の五大 .


- Two short Haiku Henro Trips, Summer 2005

. 四国お遍路さん Pilgrims in Shikoku . - General Information

Koya San in Wakayama

Kobo Daishi Kukai 弘法大師 空海
(Kooboo Daishi, Kuukai )

Haiku and Henro:
.... . The Haiku Henro Pilgrimage  

. Japan - Shrines and Temples - ABC .



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