When it comes to art, I couldn't tell you the difference between a Constable and a Monet. Nor could I tell you the difference between Pottery and Ceramics. But what I do know, is that I appreciate the work & energy that goes in to creating these works of art, regardless of the medium they have been created onto.
So, when I am out hiking or on my bike, and I happen-across a carving, as in the image on the left, I can't help but feel amazed as to how someone can take an image, consign it to memory, then, at a later stage, reproduce it onto a medium - in this instance, onto a rock.
So, without further ado, let me introduce you to some of the many religious icons on view throughout Japan.
I shall commence with the Sekibutsu. In the image above is the Warai (which translates in Japanese to happy/laughing/smiling), and is an image of Buddha, sitting in the Lotus Position.
Next is the Magaibutsu. In the image above I am standing next to the Daimonnohotokedani, one of the largest of it's kind in the Kansai region, constructed during the Nara/Heian Period (794-to-1300). This is a magnificent carving and stands over 5-meters high.
Now let me introduce you to my favorite - the Jizo. These guys are the most beloved of all the Japanese divinities, and can be found in some of the most isolated of places. In the above image I happened-across this set while out on my mountain bike in the forest.
This spectacular carving is a Butsuzou and is located near the summit of Mt Kasagiyama, in the village of Kasagi in Kyoto prefecture. Believed to have been carved by Genpou Daishi, during the Gennin Period (1224-to-1225), the statue is so tall, it is difficult to capture in it's entirety, for fear of falling over the cliff.
Then there are the unusual ones. In this image I am kneeling in front of a Sekibutsu Pagoda, just outside the town of Wazuka in Kyoto Prefecture. This is a monument in remembrance of the "Great Yamashiro Flood" of 1953. During the clean-up, many stone carvings were gathered and placed together to create this monument.
In the above images, are icons I discovered while hiking into Nara, via the "Old Yagyu Road". But, as you can see in this video, I was overjoyed when I found the "Hozan Sekibutsu", a three-sided figure carved out of a rock and located deep in the forest.
One more image before I sign-off. I am standing beside a Rokujizo Sekibutsu. Although it is difficult to see, but there are six (roku in Japanese) Jizo carvings in this rock. But, what amazes me, is the isolated location - deep in a forest, about 500-meters from the nearest lane, the nearest settlement (Nodono) about 1-kilometer away.
As always, it has been a great pleasure sharing my experiences with you, and I thank you for taking the time to view my posts. So, until next time . . . .
One of the many things I like about the great outdoors, are the little surprises I stumble-across. In this case, religious icons.