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Japanese Buddhism, Photo Dictionary of Japan's Shinto and Buddhist DivinitiesRETURN TO TOP PAGE of Japanese Buddhist Statuary A to Z Photo Library & Dictionary of Gods, Goddesses, Shinto Kami, Creatures, and Demons
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QUICK START
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Buddhist-Artwork.com, our sister site, offers online sales of hand-carved wood Buddha statues.
Buddhist-Artwork.com, our sister site, offers online sales of hand-carved wood Buddha statues.

A TO Z INDEX
3 Element Stele
3 Monkeys
4 Bosatsu
4 Celestial Emblems
4 Heavenly Kings
5 (Number Five)
5 Elements
5 Tathagata
5 Tier Pagoda
5 Wisdom Kings
6 Jizo
6 Kannon
6 Realms
6 Nara Schools
7 Lucky Gods
7 Nara Temples
8 Legions
8 Zodiac Patrons
10 Kings of Hell
12 Devas
12 Generals
12 Zodiac Animals
13 Butsu (Funerals)
28 Legions
28 Constellations
30 Buddha of Month
30 Kami of Month
33 Kannon
About the Author
Agyo
Aizen
Amano Jyaku
Amida Nyorai
Apsaras
Arakan (Rakan)
Arhat (Rakan)
Ashuku Nyorai
Asuka Era Art Tour
Asura (Ashura)
Baku (Eats Dreams)
Bamboo
Benzaiten (Benten)
Bibliography
Big Buddha
Birushana Nyorai
Bishamon-ten
Bodhisattva
Bonbori Artwork
Bosatsu Group
Bosatsu of Mercy
Bosatsu on Clouds
Buddha (Historical)
Buddha Group
Buddha Statues
Busshi (Sculptors)
Calligraphy
Celestial Emblems
Celestial Maidens
Children Patrons
Classifying
Color Red
Confucius
Contact Us
Daibutsu
Daijizaiten
Daikokuten
Dainichi Nyorai
Daruma (Zen)
Datsueba (Hell Hag)
Deva (Tenbu)
Donations
Dosojin
Dragon
Drapery (Robes)
Early Buddhism Japan
Ebisu
Eight Legions
En no Gyoja
Estores
Family Tree
Footprints of Buddha
Fox (Inari)
Fudo (Fudou) Myoo
Fugen Bosatsu
Fujin (Wind God)
Fukurokuju
Gakko & Nikko
Gardens
Gigeiten
Godai Nyorai
Goddess of Mercy
Goddesses
Gongen
Gravestones
Hachi Bushu
Hachiman
Hands (Mudra)
Hell (10 Judges)
Hell Hag (Datsueba)
Hell Scrolls
Henge
Hikyu (Lion Beast)
Holy Mountains
Ho-o (Phoenix)
Hotei
Idaten
Inari (Fox)
Ishanaten
Ishidoro (Ishidourou)
Jikokuten
Jizo Bosatsu
Jocho Busshi
Juni Shi
Juni Shinsho
Juni Ten
Junrei (Pilgrimage)
Jurojin
Juuzenji
Jyaki or Tentoki
Kaikei Busshi
Kamakura Buddhism
Kankiten
Kannon Bosatsu
Kappa
Kariteimo (Kishibojin)
Karura
Karyoubinga
Kendatsuba
Kichijouten
Kitchen Gods
Kishibojin (Kariteimo)
Kitsune (Oinari)
Kokuzo Bosatsu
Koujin (Kojin)
Komokuten
Korean Buddhism
Koushin
Lanterns (Stone)
Links
Making Statues
Mandara (Mandala)
Maneki Neko
Marishiten (Marici)
Miroku Bosatsu
Monju Bosatsu
Monkeys
Moon Lodges
Mother Goddess
Mudra (Hands)
Myoken (Pole Star)
Myo-o
Nara Era Art Tour
Newsletter Sign Up
Nijuhachi Bushu
Nikko & Gakko
Ninpinin
Nio Protectors
Nyorai Group
Objects & Symbols
Onigawara
Phoenix (Ho-o)
Pilgrimage Guide
Pottery
Protective Stones
Raigo Triad
Raijin (Thunder God)
Rakan (Arhat)
Red Clothing
Reincarnation
Robes (Drapery)
Rock Gardens
Sanbo Kojin
Sanno Gongen
Sarutahiko
Sculptors (Busshi)
Seishi Bosatsu
Sendan Kendatsuba
Seven Lucky Gods
Shachi, Shachihoko
Shaka Nyorai
Shape Shifters
Shichifukujin
Shijin (Shishin)
Shinra Myoujin
Shinto Clergy
Shinto Concepts
Shinto Kami
Shinto Main Menu
Shinto Sects
Shinto Shrines
Shishi (Lion)
Shitenno
Shoki
Shomen Kongo
Shotoku Taishi
Shrines
Shugendo
Siddhartha
Six States
Star Deities
Stone Gardens
Stone Graves
Stone Lanterns
Stones (Top Menu)
Suijin (Water Kami)
Symbols & Objects
Tamonten
Taishakuten
Tanuki
Temples
Temple Lodging
Tenbu Group
Tengu
Tennin & Tennyo
Tentoki or Jyaki
Terminology
Tibetan Carpets
Tibet Photos
Tibetan Tanka
Transmigration
Ungyo
Unkei Busshi
Videos on Buddhism
Water Basin
Weapons
Wheel of Life
Yakushi Nyorai
Yasha (Yaksha)
Zao Gongen
Zen (Daruma)
Zen Art Tour
Zodiac Calendar
Zochoten

 

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KOREAN KANHWA SŎN BUDDHISM -- SPECIAL REPORT


Top Menu
Introduction


Architecture
25 Photos


Creatures
42 Photos


Deities
59 Photos


Doors
13 Photos


Paintings
64 Photos


People
32 Photos


Votive Icons
maroon-check 21 Photos

Also See
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Korean Influence on Early Japanese Buddhism. Not a systematic study, but rather a "sketch" of the key contributions of Korean monks, artisans, and specialists to early Japanese Buddhist doctrine, art, and architecture. 30 Photos.

VOTIVE ICONS & STONES IN KOREA. In all Buddhist nations, the replication (the copying) of icons is thought to accrue great merit not only for oneself but also for ones ancestors. Indeed, at the very heart of Buddhism is the "duplicating impulse." Says Daniel J. Boorstin in The Discovers: "Just as the faithful themselves were to become replications of the Buddha, so too the devout Buddhist attained 'merit' by multiplying images of Buddha and of the sacred texts. Buddhist monks carved images in stone and then took rubbings from them, they made seals, they tried stencils on paper, on silk, and on plastered walls. They made small wooden stamps with handles from which they made primitive woodcuts. In Japan commercial publishing grew out of temple publishing." <end quote> Even today devotees in Korea and Japan purchase countless votive stamps, statues, lanterns, talismans, indeed all manner of votive objects, to build merit and erase bad karma. Piling stones into the shape of a pagoda or simply placing a rock atop a statue or graveyard memorial is another form of widespread votive worship (see details below).

 

PHOTO CREDITS. All photos by Mark Schumacher (unless stated otherwise). Taken during a conference, meditation retreat, and tour related to Kanhwa Sŏn 看話禪 and Hwadu 話頭 meditative techniques (the Korean counterpart of Zen Kōan meditation). The event took place in Korea between June 23 and July 3, 2012. It was organized by the Center for the Study of the Chogye Order (Chonghak Yŏn'guwŏn) at Dongguk University. Participants included advanced graduate students, professors, and independent scholars in Korean Religions and Buddhist Studies. The retreat was held at Magoksa Temple, a few hours south of Seoul. If you would like to submit your own photo(s) for inclusion here (with credits to you), please contact me. If you have a Facebook account, you can also post your photos at the Korea Kanhwa Sŏn Facebook Group Page.

 

Votive Lanterns and Lights

 

Votive lanterns for Buddha's Birthday, Dongguk University, Seoul

Votive lanterns for Buddha's
Birthday, Donghaksa Temple


Votive lantern for Buddha's Birthday, Dongguk University, Seoul

Decorative votive lanterns, electric lamps, and all manner of talismans and votive objects are sold by the temples as a way to make money and to respond to a widespread demand for such religious goods among the populace. The photos at right depict votive lanterns sold at Dongguk University (Seoul). They were installed for the celebration of the Buddha's birthday in late May, but left hanging well into late June (when we attended the two-day conference). The laterns depict the Buddha following his birth. Like Mary's immaculate conception of Jesus Christ, the birth of the Historical Buddha was not ordinary. According to legend, the Buddha's mother (Lady Māyā, aka Mahāmāyā or Māyādevī) dreamt of a divine being atop a white elephant descending from heaven, touching her side, and entering her womb. The elephant imagery indicates that her child came from the pure land known as Tuṣita, home of Bodhisattva Maitreya (Jp. = Miroku). The child was born near Kapilavatthu (in current-day Nepal), emerging from his mother's side, which emitted a seven-colored light that brought forth the infant, who then took seven steps forward while pointing his right hand to the heavens and left hand to earth (see image here), saying: "I alone am honored in heaven and on earth (tenjō tenga yuiga dokuson 天上天下唯我独尊)." Statues depicting the infant in this pose are used in the Kanbutsu-e 潅仏会 ceremony, held annually throughout Asia to commemorate Buddha's birthday.

Votive lanterns are typically hung inside Korean temples (the devotee does not take the lantern home). In Japan, such votive objects are burned each year in a bonfire around New Year time. I do not know how Korean Buddhist temples deal with old votive lanterns
and other votive objects.

LEARN MORE: Buddha's Birthday Image  ||  Kanbutsu-e・Tanjōbutsu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Votive Icons for Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva

 

Votive objects surrounding Ksitigarbha at Donghaksa Temple
Kṣitigarbha & votive icons,
Donghaksa Temple

Kṣitigarbha (C = Dìzàng 地蔵, K = Jijang 지장, J = Jizō) works to ease the suffering and shorten the sentence of those serving time in hell, to deliver the faithful into Amida's western paradise (where inhabitants are no longer trapped in the six states of desire and karmic rebirth), and to answer the prayers of the living for health, success, children, and all manner of mundane petitions. More popular in Japan than in China or Korea, but the many images I saw of Kṣitigarbh during this trip suggest that his cult is quite strong in Korea. Kṣitigarbha came to prominence in 7th-to-9th century China, then spread to Korea and Japan. From the beginning, he was associated with souls suffering in the underworld, thus his imagery in Korea and Japan is also closely associated with the afterlife. Yet, in Japan, Kṣitigarbha (J = Jizō) was conflated-integrated with local kami cults and is perhaps today one of Japan's most beloved deities. In modern Japan, Jizō is popularly venerated as the guardian of unborn, aborted, miscarried, and stillborn babies (Mizuko Jizō). These roles were not assigned to Jizō in earlier Buddhist traditions from mainland Asia; they are instead modern adaptations unique to Japan. At the same time, Jizō serves his/her customary and traditional roles as patron saint of expectant mothers, women in labor, children, firemen, travelers, pilgrims, and the protector of all beings caught in the six realms of transmigration. In the photo at right, the icons are dedicated to Kṣitigarbha as the deity of children.

LEARN: Jizō (A-to-Z)  ||  Jizō Rocks (Green Shinto)  ||  Face of Jizō  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Votive Stones for Kṣitigarbha Bodhisattva

 

Votive stone pagoda at Magoksa Temple
Votive stones, Magoksa Temple

Piling stones into the shape of a pagoda, or stacking them together in no shape whatsoever, or simply placing a rock atop a statue or graveyard memorial is one form of widespread votive worship. In Japan, offering stones as prayers is an ancient custom, but the folk practice of offering stones for lost children emerged later, around the 14th and 15th centuries. In some cases, gravestones or religious icons in Japan are literally covered in stones -- a tradition intimately associated with Amida Pure Land faith and Jizō Bosatsu (C = Dìzàng 地蔵, K = Jijang 지장, S = Kṣitigarbha), for Jizō acts as the savior of all sentient beings in "transitional" states. In the Jewish faith, stones are also used as prayers for deceased souls. In Korea, however, Professor Robert Buswell (UCLA) told me that the Korean "custom" of piling stones is "very new," something that has occurred only in the past two decades.

LEARN MORE:  Jizō (A-to-Z)  ||  Sai no Kawara Legend  ||  Jizō Rocks (Green Shinto)  ||  Face of Jizō

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1000 Statues of Kṣitigarbha 千躰地蔵

 

1000 Images Surrounding Ksitigarbh
Kṣitigarbha & votive icons,
Gapsa Temple

1000 Kṣitigarbha 千躰地蔵 (Jp. = Sentai Jizō). At many location in Korea and Japan, one will find hundreds of tiny images surrounding Kṣitigarbha. These tiny votice images are purchased by devotees and then installed in a niche behind the main Kṣitigarbha statue. The term "1000" is perhaps misleading, for any large grouping of such statues around a Kṣitigarbha image is given this name. The idea is simple. To increase the deity's effectiveness, tiny statues of the deity are grouped together in large numbers around the central image. This no doubt reflects the pronounced "duplicating impulse" of Buddhist devotees, who believe that the replication (the copying) of icons and sutras is thought to accrue great merit not only for themselves but also for their ancestors.

LEARN MORE:  Sentai Jizō (A-to-Z Dictionary)

 

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