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http://ichinen-fourseasonsinjapan.blogspot.jp/2015/07/morning-glory-exhibitions.html


Friday, July 31, 2015

Osorezan, border between this world and the underworld (2)


Mmmm, fresh sulfur by Joe Jones /flickr



The smell of sulfur wafted over its ground.













Hell at Osore-zan, Honshu
Hell at Osore-zan, Honshu by shirokazan /flickr
























The temple has 136 hells and a paradise. In Japan, there are a lot of hells(jigoku) such as Owakudani(Great Boiling Valley) in Kanagawa, jigoku of Beppu in Oita. People in the past thought the view of a volcanic area resembled a hellish picture in Japanese Buddhism.

Blood Pond Hell is said to be a pond located in Hell. It is said the water looks red due to color change in algae. It doesn't always look red.

IMG_3113.jpg
IMG_3113.jpg by vera46 /flickr

Jizo(Ksitigarbha) is one of Buddhist bodhisattvas. His mission is to save people between Buddha's death and the appearance of Maitreya(弥勒菩薩, Miroku-bosatsu). Yama(閻魔大王, Enma Daio) is the lord of death and give sentence on the dead. Jizo and Yama are opposite sides to the same coin. Ancient people associated Jizo with a belief in a travelers' guardian deity, so its statues were located to hornor it by roadsides around Japan.

He is also regarded as the guardian of children because he saves children who have to pile stones eternally  like Sisyphus at Sai-no-kawara, the banks of the Sanzu River. The children can't cross the Sanzu River because  they predeceased their parents. They are bullied by ogres at Sai-no-kawara.

Stone piles were build by the bereaved to console the spirits of their deceased family members. Leave them alone.


Osorezan #6
Osorezan #6 by tsuda /flickr


Fear Mountain - Osorezan
Fear Mountain - Osorezan / Japanexperterna.se




  Lake Usori-ko and Sai-no-kawara

photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide


photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide



photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide





photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide




photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide



Osorezan
Osorezan by macchi /flickr



Straw sandals and white cloth tied to trees were also done by the bereaved. Leave them alone.

Osorezan
Osorezan by macchi /flickr




Lake Usori-ko(or Lake Usoriyama-ko)

This is an acid lake in Japan with the water pH of 3.4 -3.8, but Japanese dace live in the water.

Lake Usori
Lake Usori  by blueskyfantasie /flickr
Lake Usori-ko and Sai-no-kawara

Osorezan
Osorezan by Joe Jones /flickr




Osorezan
Osorezan by blueskyfantasie /flickr






photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide


Gokuraku-hama

Gokuraku-hama is the Lake Usori-ko's beach. It means the beach of the Buddhists' paradise filled with happiness. Gokuraku' and 'sukhaavatii' are Sanskrit words used to refer to Amitabha's pure land. This white sand beach is reminiscent of the pure land.


Osorezan
Osorezan by blueskyfantasie /flickr


The bereaved also burn incense and offer flowers there.


Osorezan
Osorezan by blueskyfantasie /flickr



The use of fire is limited on the temple's ground because Osorezan is a volcanic area with active sulphur vents.

Osorezan #1
Osorezan #1 by tsuda /flickr




The reverse side of the Earthquake Memorial Monument (jizo for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011)

This monument was build on Gokuraku-hama beach in 2012 because the temple's worshippers include the earthquake and tsunami victims. The temple hopes each of visitors will commemorate the victims by putting one's hand into one of 60 different handprints that fits one's size.

Osorezan
Osorezan by blueskyfantasie /flickr




Hiyamizu(spring located on the way to Osorezan)

It is about 4 kirometers away from Osorezan. Legend has it that eating a cup of the water will take off 10 years, two cups wil do 20 years. Many visitors get spring water.

Hiyamizu
Hiyamizu by tsuda /flickr



Osorezan
Osorezan by HerryLawford /flickr


Osorezan, border between this world and the underworld (1)




Pinwheels are offered to aborted and miscarried babies, deceased babies and infants as substitute for flowers. 
Some people say pinwheels symbolize a cycle of reincarnation.

photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide


Osorezan(恐山, Mt. Osore), also known as Usoriyama, is a stratovolcano with a caldera lake(Lake Usori-ko) and hot springs located the centre of Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture. Osorezan Taisai Festival(Osorezan Grand Festival) was held at Osorezan-Bodaiji temple(恐山菩提寺) located in Osorezan from July 20 to 24. The temple hold annual festivals in July and October. Tradition says buddhist monk Jikakutaishi established the temple in 862. Osorezan has been considered as a sacred ground.


Osorezan Taisai Festival
photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide

Osorezan Taisai Festival
photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide



Osorezan Taisai Festival























Osorezan Taisai Festival
photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide

worshippers









Osorezan Taisai Festival
photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide






Through a ritual process known as "kuchiyose", blind mediums known as itako claim to communicate with the dead and deliver messages in their voices during annual festivals in July and October. Some poeple say they speak this region's dialect too fast and it's hard to catch words in it. Kuchiyose in the temple started after the WW2. The temple has no part in it.


Osorezan Taisai Festival



Osorezan Taisai Festival



Osorezan Taisai Festival




Taiko-bashi Bridge
photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide

Taiko-bashi Bridge

The bridge is the entrance to the hallowed ground, Osorezan. But the bridge is a little way off the temple.
The Sanzu River(Sanzu-no-kawa), officially known as Shozu-gawa River(正津川),  is similar to the Styx. The bridge over the Sanzu River straddles the border between this world and the underworld. It is said the bad can't go over this bridge and visitors must not look back on the bridge on return route.



Taiko-bashi Bridge
photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide


Somon Gate(front gate)
Osorezan is a sacred place, but it attracts a lot of tourists. There are a restaurant and a souvenir shop near its front gate. Tourists can take a taxi and many tour buses stop there.

Somon Gate, reception place,  souvenir shop
Osorezan
Osorezan by HerryLawford /flickr

Six Ksitigarbha statues stands near the front gate. The Ksitigarbhas protect all beings in the Six Realms(the human realm, the demi-god realm, the god realm, the animal realm, the hungry ghost realm, the hell realm) of Karmic Rebirth. All living beings are born into one of the six states of existence among Buddhists.

IMG_3096.jpg
IMG_3096.jpg by vera46 /flickr

Sanmon Gate(main gate)

photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide


Osorezan
Osorezan by blueskyfantasie /flickr


The smell of sulfur wafted over its ground.

Four hot springs cabins are located on the ground. Visitors can take a bath in these hot springs, but the cabins are visible through a window. Worshippers used to purify themselves before offering prayers.

Osorezan / spa
Osorezan / spa "Hanazome" by tsuda /flickr



Osorezan / onsen
Osorezan / onsen by macchi /flickr

Temple lodging is available. It's an air-conditioned accommodation. A night's lodging costs 12,000 yen(one night and two meals per day). In principle, lodgers have to attend the morning religious service.


Toba Hall
Sotobas with a height of three meters. Sotoba(toba) is a tall wooden tablet to pray for the repose of souls. Sotoba derives from the Sanskrit word stupa.

Osorezan
Osorezan by HerryLawford /flickr


Jizoden Hall
This hall was built to enshrine Enmei Jizo Bosatsu (literally, Apothanasia Ksitigarbha), the temple's principal image of Buddha.

Osorezan
Osorezan by HerryLawford /flickr

interior of Jizoden Hall
Osorezan
Osorezan by HerryLawford /flickr


Osorezan
Osorezan by HerryLawford /flickr


Jizoden Hall, Sanmon Gate and Lake Usori-ko

Osorezan
Osorezan by macchi /flickr




Osorezan #7
Osorezan #7 by tsuda /flickr



Taishi-do
White cloth were tied by worshippers.







photo by APTINET Aomori Sightseeing Guide




Jizo for aborted and miscarried babies

Osorezan
Osorezan by blueskyfantasie /flickr



IMG_3112.jpg
IMG_3112.jpg by vera46 /flickr




 
           

Enmei Jizo (literally, Apothanasia Ksitigarbha)

Osorezan
Osorezan by blueskyfantasie /flickr



Osorezan
Osorezan by HerryLawford /flickr



                war memorial

Osorezan
Osorezan by HerryLawford /flickr




stone Buddha statue for the souls with no living relatives

Fear Mountain - Osorezan
Fear Mountain - Osorezan / Japanexperterna.se

little statue of Senju Kannon(Thousand Armed Avalokiteshwara)

Zen Meditation
Zen Meditation by Japanexperterna.se /flickr

stone Buddha statues

Stone piles were build by the bereaved to console the spirits of their deceased family members.

Osorezan
Osorezan by tsuda /flickr



Fear Mountain - Osorezan
Fear Mountain - Osorezan by Japanexperterna.se /flickr


IMG_3101.jpg
IMG_3101.jpg by vera46 /flickr




Datsueba and Ken-eo

An old woman called Datsueba plunders the clothes of the dead, and an old man called Ken-eo hangs the clothes on a riverside tree branch to measure the weight of guilt. They stay in the Sanzu River.

Osorezan
Osorezan by blueskyfantasie /flickr