That is the 41th temple of Shikoku 88temple pilgrimage. The lord is the eleven faced Kannon that is reported to have been created by Kobo Daishi. It was also built by Kobo Daishi. There is a torii (shrine gate) in the approach,which is a vestige of the syncretism of Shinto and Buddhism. Rice production is thriving here,so the rice field spreads in front of the gate.
That is the 6th temple of Shikoku exceptional Sacred Sites. The honzon (principal image of Buddha) is 11 faced Kannon. When Masamune Date’s son Hidemune Date became the lord of Uwajimajo Castle, this temple was built in the direction of Kimon (unlucky direction) of Uwajimajo Castle to pray for peace and security of the Uwajima Domain. That still watches over Uwajimajo Castle.
During the pilgrimage, I visited Uwajima Castle. That was founded by Todo Takatora, a master of castle construction. It is one of the 100 best castles in Japan. The area around the castle is a virgin forest and is a treasure house of nature with large trees.
It is a 50 km journey from Kanjizaiji to Ryukoji in Uwajima. It is a fine day and I walk along the Uwa Sea. The Uwa Sea is located on the Ehime Prefecture side of the Bungo Channel. This place used to be the base of pirate Fujiwara no Sumitomo.
That is the 40th temple of Shikoku 88temple pilgrimage,and the first sacred ground of Iyoji “Enlightment hall”. The lord is Yakushi Nyorai which is said to have been carved by Kobo Daishi. This temple was also built by Kobo Daishi by the order of Emperor Heizei.In the precincts there is a monument of Basho Matsuo.This is the farthest from the first temple. I stayed at shukubo.I watched the sunset at Souzu river near this temple.
It is the 210th day from the first day of spring the lunar calendar. Usually, typhoons hit Japan on September 1. Around this time, the ears of rice come out and it is said to be an unlucky day for farmers.Disaster Prevention Day is also set for September 1.
From Tosa to Iyo. I climb the pilgrimage route across the former country. It’s very hot. Matsuo Pass is a steep place, but the vivid red bayberry fruit and the view of Sukumo Bay from near the pass are healing.
That is the 39th temple of Shikoku 88temple pilgrimage,and the last sacred ground of Tosaji “training hall”. The bell that the red turtle that was in the precinct came back from the Ryugu is still there. The lord is Yakushi Nyorai which is said to have been carved by Gyoki. This temple was also built by Gyoki by the order of Emperor Shomu.
After praying at Kongofukuji, I head for Cape Ashizuri. On the way, I met a statue of Mr.John Manjiro. He was a great man born in Tosa at the end of the Edo period. He made a great contribution to the opening of Japan to the world. His hometown Tosashimizu City is promoting him as a hero in NHK’s historical drama series.
That is the 38th temple of Shikoku 88temple pilgrimage. The lord is the Senjukanzeonbosatsu that is reported to have been created by Kobo Daishi. It was also built by Kobo Daishi under the order of Emperor Saga. It was hard to walk in the scorching heat as the temple was 80 kilometers away from the No. 37th temple, Iwamotoji. It is located in the southernmost of Shikoku 88temple pilgrimage,and the climate is subtropical. It is also close to Ashizuri Cape. The whiteness of water lilies in the precincts was beautiful.