Fushimi-ku, Temples-Shrines — September 6, 2017 at 7:19 PM

Saigan-ji: Jizō Statue that was Drenched with Oil.

by

The Jizō Statue that was Drenched with Oil: Saigan-ji.

Close up view of the Aburakake Jizō statue inside the Jizō-do hall of Aburakake Jizō Saigan-ji (油懸地蔵 西岸寺) in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto City.

Close up view of the Aburakake Jizō statue inside the Jizō-do hall of Aburakake Jizō Saigan-ji (油懸地蔵 西岸寺) in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto City.

Yesterday, I was in Fushimi-ku (Kyoto-City), and while driving around I saw a sign post. Decided to take a look, I found a hidden temple (Saigan-ji (西岸寺), also known as “Aburakakezan Jizō Saigan-ji”) in a back alley. While reading the sign post, I discovered an amazing story from times past. From the sign board: “Once upon a time, an oil merchant from Yamazaki (a place to the southwest of Kyoto known for its sesame oil) stumbled in front of the temple gate and spilled most of his oil. Giving it up as lost, he poured what little remained over the Jizō statue and paid his respects to the deity and went on his way. Thereafter, his business prospered, encouraging the popular belief that once’s prayers would be answered if one poured oil over the statue.”
I peered into the Jizō-do hall and noticed a black Jizō statue, about 1.27 meters tall and dating back to the Kamakura period (鎌倉時代). Indeed a remarkable story, Fushimi-ku is dotted with interesting spots from history.

History of Saigon-ji:

The story of Aburakake Jizō statue in Japanese. Located at Aburakake Jizō Saigan-ji (油懸地蔵 西岸寺) in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto City.

The story of Aburakake Jizō statue in Japanese. Located at Aburakake Jizō Saigan-ji (油懸地蔵 西岸寺) in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto City.

Saigan-ji (西岸寺), also known as “Aburakakezan Jizō Saigan-ji”, is a Jōdo-shū (浄土宗) school of Japanese Buddhism. Saigan-ji was founded by the monk Unkai (雲海) in 1590.
The Jizō-do hall houses a stone statue of Bodhisattva Jizō, which is popularly known as the “Aburakake Jizō”. Aburakake literally meaning “painted with oil”. The statue is 1.27 meters tall and dating back to the Kamakura period (鎌倉時代).

The Jizō-dō (地蔵堂) hall burned down during the Battle of Toba–Fushimi (鳥羽・伏見の戦い) and was rebuilt in 1894. The present day Saigan-ji temple is a reconstruction from 1978.

Fushimi-ku: A Historical Spot in Kyoto City:

The following is taken from Wikipedia: “Fushimi (伏見区 Fushimi-ku) is one of the eleven wards in the city of Kyoto, in Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. Famous places in Fushimi include the Fushimi Inari Shrine, with thousands of torii lining the paths up and down a mountain; Fushimi Castle, originally built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, with its rebuilt towers and gold-lined tea-room; and the Teradaya, an inn at which Sakamoto Ryōma was attacked and injured about a year before his assassination. Also of note is the Gokōgu shrine, which houses a stone used in the construction of Fushimi Castle. The water in the shrine is particularly famous and it is recorded as one of Japan’s 100 best clear water spots.

Although written with different characters now, the name Fushimi (which used to be its own “town”) originally comes from fusu + mizu, meaning “hidden water” or “underground water”. In other words, the location was known for good spring water. The water of Fushimi has particularly soft characteristics, making it an essential component to the particular type of sake brewed in Fushimi. This also explains why the area developed as a sake-brewing center in Kyoto. Today, Fushimi is the second greatest area of Japan in terms of sake production, and is where the sake company Gekkeikan was founded.”

Frontal view of Aburakake Jizō-do hall of Saigan-ji (油懸地蔵 西岸寺) in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto City.

Frontal view of Aburakake Jizō-do hall of Saigan-ji (油懸地蔵 西岸寺) in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto City.

Here is the location of Saigan-ji.

Would love to hear from you....