Nature & Culture of Japan

To make your trip to Japan more interesting

History Insects Temples & Buddhism Religion

Let’s find insects on the chests of the new Buddha statues in the old Buddhist city, Koyasan

Many people appreciate the historically old Buddha statues. However, some Buddha statues are very new.

One of the gates at the center of Koyasan, “Chumon” was built in 819 AD, but it was often hit by fire. It had not been rebuilt after the fire in 1843.

Recently in 2015, the 1200th anniversary year of the Buddhist city, the lost gate was rebuilt and two Buddha statues which have a role of guarding temples were newly added. On the occasion, a new idea by a modern Buddhist master is added: The statues have insects on each chest.

One has a cicada. The Buddhist master says that cicadas are guarding themselves by the loud voice echoing far away,

The other has a dragonfly which, he says, fly only forward and is confronting evil without retreating.

It’s a new aspect of Japan’s long history of Buddhism. And I’m very happy as an insect lover.


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