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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 DemonsCopyright and Usage PoliciesJump to Sister Store Selling Handcrafted Buddha Statues from China, Japan, and Asia
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QUICK START
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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
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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)
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Busshi (Sculptors)
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Children Patrons
Classifying
Color Red
Confucius
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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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STONES TOP MENU
STONES, STONE MARKERS, & STONE MEMORIALS

 Click photos or links to learn more about each topic

Dosojin - Japanese Protective Stone Markers
DŌSOJIN 道祖人
Protective Markers

Dōsojin (Dosojin) refers to Shintō and Buddhist deities of roads and borders. These deities reside in protective stone markers found at village boundaries, in mountain passes, and along country byways. Also called Sai no Kami or Dorokujin in some areas.

Ishidoro -- Japanese Stone Lanterns
ISHIDŌRŌ 石燈篭
Stone Lanterns

The earliest lanterns were introduced to Japan from China through Korea along with Buddhism in the 6th century. Nine major types of lanterns are popular in Japan. Also closely associated with the Offering of Light Ceremony for deceased souls.

Gorinto - Japanese Stone Grave Markers
GORINTŌ 五輪塔
Grave Markers

Made of five pieces of stone. Serves as a grave marker or cenotaph erected for the repose of the departed. Each piece corresponds to one of five elements. This page also includes details on 5-tier and 3-tier pagodas, steles, stupas, and other memorial markers.

Magaibutsu - Buddhist images carved on large rock outcrops, cliffs, or in caves
MAGAIBUTSU
磨崖仏

Buddhist images carved on large rock outcrops, cliffs, or in caves. Caves carved with Buddhist images which were large enough for people to enter and to use as temples were specifically called sekkutsu jiin (cave temple). Kunisaki Peninsula is home to many magaibutsu.

Sekibutsu - Free-standing movable Buddhist statues carved from stone
SEKIBUTSU
石仏

Free-standing movable Buddhist statues carved from stone. Stone was the chief material used for Buddhist images in China and India, whilst in Japan stone statues have never challenged the dominance of wood and bronze because appropriate stone materials were not so readily available.

Footprints of Buddha
BUSSOKUSEKI
仏足石

Footprints of the Buddha. A stone allegedly bearing the impression of the footprints of the Historical Buddha. In early art, the Buddha was not depicted in human form. His presence was instead intimated by symbols, such as his footprints or a lotus.

Water Basins (Wash Basins) in Japan
STONE BASINS

Purification fountains are found everywhere in modern Japan. At Shrines, worshippers and visitors are asked to purify themselves of impurity before praying to the deities.

Rock (Stone) Gardens in Japan
ROCK GARDENS

Until you can feel, and keenly feel, that stones have character, that stones have tones and values, the whole artistic meaning of a Japanese garden cannot be revealed to you.

Other Stone Markers and Memorial Stones
OTHERS

Other stone markers hard to classify, including the Hyakudo Mairi Wheel, the Jizō Wheel, the Omokaru Ishi, literature stones, and other stone objects with special meaning.


PHOTO TOURS

  • Ishidoro (Stone Lanterns) - Photo Tour
  • Gorinto (Gravestones) - Photo Tour
     
  • OTHERS. Other stone markers include protector deities like the Shishi (magical Chinese lions and Korean lion-dogs who stand guard outside the gates at Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines), the Tanuki, a raccoon-like magical dog found outside bars and business shops, and the Maneki Neko (beckoning cat) found outside restaurants. These latter two types are often ceramic, not stone. 

Stone with Blooming Murasaki Shikibu Tree
Decorative Ishidoro outside private home in Kamakura City

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