While up in Odate, Hiro's parents took Hiro's older niece and me to Fukaura in Aomori. The main appeal was returning to a temple, Engaku-ji, which I'd been to in the summer of 2011. Hiro's nieces are into calligraphy and I wanted to show them the Sanskrit written in the temple there. Sanskrit, from my observations, is not commonly seen in temples in Japan. I was talking to someone the other day who is doing a Masters on Buddhist matters and apparently Sanskrit is a feature that's not altogether uncommon in Shingon temples. And, as it turns out Engakuji is a Shingon temple (though apparently it was probably Tendai-shu originally.)
|The Japan Sea Coast|
|The Sanskrit that took me back there|
|Jizo: 6 wishes for children|
Hope, Peace, Cheerfulness
|Explanation about the Jizo: the jizo will guard children against|
the vices that lead to the "path to hell".
Perhaps that's not a good translation.
|Temples commonly have wooden ema for sale.|
In this case all the ema were paper.
|Benten-jima is just across the road from Engaku-ji.|
Benten is a Japanized Hindu goddess whose shrines are often located near water.
(Click for lots of detail about Benten.)
|Benten jima, which despite the name isn't really an island.|
|Views from Benten jima|