88 Shikoku Pilgrimage, My Travels, Out Of The Box, Shikoku, Temples 1-23 — September 9, 2017 at 5:50 PM

Kirihata-ji: Tenth Temple of the Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage.

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The Mountain Gate (Sanmom - 山門) of Kirihata-ji: tenth Temple of the Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage.

The Mountain Gate (Sanmom – 山門) of Kirihata-ji: tenth Temple of the Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage.


Kirihata-ji in Awa-shi, Tokushima-ken, Japan:

Kirihata-ji (切幡寺): tenth Temple of the Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage (四国八十八ヶ所巡り) is located in Awa-shi, Tokushima-ken, Japan. Kirihata-ji is located in the middle of Mount Kirihata (切幡山) and is about 800 meters above sea level. From National route 139 you turn into a narrow street lined with minshuku (民宿) and shops catering to the henro pilgrims. After a short walk you reach the Mountain Gate (Sanmom – 山門) of Kirihata-ji. From here on its more climbing up on Mount Kirihata (切幡山), be warned there are exactly 333 steps before you reach the main plateau of the temple grounds.

History of Kirihata-ji and Hatakiri Kannon:

Kōbō Daishi (弘法大師) founded this temple somewhere in the beginning of the ninth century. The story is courtesy of the official 88 Shikoku Pilgrim web site: “Kōbō Daishi founded the temple here in honor of a girl he met while performing religious activities at a hut on the mountain. Legend states that during the seven days that he engaged in religious practices, the girl supplied all his needs and spent the rest of her time patiently weaving cloth.

Hatakiri Kannon (はたきり観音) in the precincts of Kirihata-ji (切幡寺): tenth Temple of the Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage (四国八十八ヶ所巡り).

Hatakiri Kannon (はたきり観音) in the precincts of Kirihata-ji (切幡寺): tenth Temple of the Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage (四国八十八ヶ所巡り).

After the seven days, Kōbō Daishi asked the girl for a piece of cloth to make new leggings. When she gave it, and then willingly, and without hesitation, even offered more, so that he could make anew robe, he asked her how she came to be there.
The girl told him that she was the daughter of a court lady who had been caught up in a palace intrigue in the capital and was pregnant with the child of a banished husband. The mother prayed to Kannon for the birth of a girl at Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺) (in Kyōto) because her girl would be protected from the repercussions of the scandal. After the girl was born, Kannon appeared to the mother and warned her to take the child and flee to Shikoku.
Moved by her story, Kōbō Daishi carved a statue of Kannon for her. When it was finished he ordained the girl as a nun and cut her hair. As soon as the girl became a nun, she became enlightened and assumed the form of Kannon herself. Kōbō Daishi took the statue up the mountain, founded Kirihata-ji, and enshrined the two statues.
Because of this legend, Kirihata-ji temple is also know as Tokudozan (The Mountain of Ordination) and is popular with women.”

Ōtō (大塔) pagoda of Kirihata-ji:

The temple grounds are quite large and tranquil to enjoy some relaxing time. If you climb some more steps you have a nice view of the valley below and the Ōtō (大塔) pagoda, dating back to 1618 and an Important Cultural Property.  See more Shikoku Pilgrimages pics here:

Ōtō (大塔) pagoda of Kirihata-ji(切幡寺): tenth Temple of the Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage (四国八十八ヶ所巡り).

Ōtō (大塔) pagoda of Kirihata-ji(切幡寺): tenth Temple of the Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage (四国八十八ヶ所巡り).

Previous Post of the 88 Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage:

Shikoku Pilgrimage: 88 Sacred Sites in Japan.
Ryōzen-ji, First Temple of the Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage.
Gokuraku-ji: Second Temple on the Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage.

Statue of Fudō Myōō (不動明王) at Kirihata-ji (切幡寺): tenth Temple of the Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage (四国八十八ヶ所巡り). On the left is Seitaka dōji (制吒迦童子) and on the right Kongara dōji (矜羯羅童子).

Statue of Fudō Myōō (不動明王) at Kirihata-ji (切幡寺): tenth Temple of the Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage (四国八十八ヶ所巡り). On the left is Seitaka dōji (制吒迦童子) and on the right Kongara dōji (矜羯羅童子).

Onigawara (鬼瓦) at Kirihata-ji(切幡寺): tenth Temple of the Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage (四国八十八ヶ所巡り).

Onigawara (鬼瓦) at Kirihata-ji(切幡寺): tenth Temple of the Sacred Shikoku Pilgrimage (四国八十八ヶ所巡り).


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