Temple 86: Shidoji

Name: Shidoji

Some Information: This temple was built in the year 694 and is dedicated to the spirits of the dead. The main Buddha here is considered a National Treasure, as well as the Fudou (the deity who transforms anger into salvation).

Interesting Features: As you can see there is a beautiful pagoda that stands out against the sky.

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As you walk towards the front gate…
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Just beyond this wall the pagoda reaches out.

 

At the gate there are giant straw sandals, the signs that pilgrims are welcome here.

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Entrance to the temple
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On the right,
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and on the left, door guards keep this ground safe.

This temple is very rustic and natural. At the time of these photos, taken in winter, the grounds are still covered with the fallen leaves of autumn.

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This bell tower is under repair. Some older temples are in need of repairs and things just take a little time to get done. The untouched, and easy pace of time in this temple seems to  manifest everywhere.

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There is a story about this particular temple of about a woman who recovered the lost jewels of a famous concubine. The jewels were sent from the concubine to her brother but were lost at sea. The brother married a diver to recover the jewels, but before she agreed to go beneath the waves she made her husband agree to make their son the family heir.

The woman dove beneath the waves but was pursued by the Dragon King. Cutting herself open and hiding the jewels within she escaped, but perished as she reached the surface. Her child, Fusasaki, became the heir to the Fujiwara family. The jewels were moved to Nara.

This temple is a memorial to the brave diver. A tomb is here to celebrate her life.