Principal Image Unveiled at Zuigu-do Hall after 222 YearsKiyomizu-dera Temple, Kyoto
"Daizuiku Bosatsu Zazo," or a seated statue of Daizuigu Bodhisattva which is the principal image of Jishin-in (known as Zuigu-do Hall) in the precincts, will be unveiled this spring and autumn at Kiyomizu-dera Temple, a World Heritage site, in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto. For the first time in 222 years, there will be "Igaicho," or a public viewing of the image in the Zuigu-do Hall where the statue is enshrined.
Kiyomizu-dera Temple is the 16th temple in the "Saikoku Sanjusansho" or the thirty-three Kannon temples in Western Japan. The event is being held as part of the special viewings commemorating the pilgrimage's 1,300th anniversary of its inception this year.
According to Kiyomizu-dera Temple, the seated statue is a wooden sculpture made in 1728, the mid-Edo Period, and is 110 centimeters in height. It has a coronet on its head and holds Buddhist altar articles such as "Gokosho," or a mallet with five-forked incurved spears at both ends, a sword and a snake in its eight hands. Gold-painted Sanskrit characters decorate its round halo.
Zuigu-do Hall was restored by "Seisho-gonrisshi," a Buddhist monk, in 1735. These days, the hall is famous for the special tour "Tainai Meguri," or walking through a dark space for worship.
"Daizuiku Bosatsu Zazo" has been unveiled in Zuigu-do Hall twice, in 1754 and in 1796. "Degaicho," or public viewing of the image at a site other than Zuigu-do Hall, has been held at 29 sites, including some exhibitions and other facilities in the precincts of Kiyomizu-dera Temple, between 1989 and 2013.
In conjunction with this Igaicho, amulets printed from a wood block of "Zuiku Darani," a Sanskrit chant, are available. The wood block was discovered in Zenko-ji Hall of Jizo-in in the precincts of Kiyomizu-dera Temple. The prints are on Japanese paper and are 50 centimeters square. Only 1000 copies are available, and there is a fee.
Igaicho will be held from March 2 to March 18, and October 5 to October 15. The admission fee is 100 yen.(Translated by Mie Hiuzon, Psyche et l’Amour, Inc.)