Temple 12: Shoushanji

There be dragons.

Welcome to Shoushanji (Temple of the Burning Mountain). This temple is on top of a mountain and is a significant walk to the top. You will be going up one mountain and down the other side before ascending the mountain you need to in order to find Shoushanji. The temple is 2600 feet above sea level so that is some serious walking.

The legend of Shoushanji is that a dragon terrorized the area until Kukai arrived. When the dragon belched flames to burn him, Kukai summoned a spinning wheel of Dharma with the aid of Kokuzou Bosatsu, the buddha of time and space. The dragon was thwarted, the dragon fire extinguished, and the beast enclosed in a cave never to come out again.

Kokuzou Bosatsu carries with him a jewel through which blessings are given, and holds the sword which is a symbol of his wisdom. This buddha is particularly interesting as he is the representation of the wisdom that threads through the universe. Becoming in tune with Kokuzou Bosatsu requires a very hard regimen of reciting his sutra a million times and carrying out very strict practices and habits.

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The last few photos here that I took are of Emon Saburou who finally meets Kukai on the path. He receives forgiveness for his inhospitality, a crime for which his several children perished. In his hand is the stone that will be in the child born in the future, and he is to be reborn, and the child will hold this stone in his hand. And on the stone will be writ, “Emon Saburou reborn”.