February, 2006

This page is written monthly
by Harumi Okochi.
Sometimes Harumi's friends join.
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r previous issues.



Kobo-daishi Kukai, as a guardian of children

Kukai was a priest of 1200 years ago who went to China to study Buddhism and came back.
He spreaded Buddhism, and his sect was called Shingon-shu.
He is also called Odaishi-sama, meaning Big Master.
Suffering people worshipped him as the savior.
Especially, for children, Odaishi-sama has always been the guardian.
The worship is mingled with the worship of Jizo, whose deity is the guardian of children.

Kukai (774-835)

JIZO (Jizou, Jizoo)
Sanskrit: Ksitigarbha or Ksitegarbha

Guardian of Souls in Hell
 Savior from the Torments of Hell

Master of Six States of Reincarnation
Protector of Children, Expectant Mothers, Firemen, Travelers, and Pilgrims

Protector of Aborted or Miscarried Babies
Guardian of Children Who Die Prematurely

Hi, friends.
In Japan, the weather has been so tough in this new year. Snow! More than 100 people lost their lives because of the unusually heavy snowfall in January.
For the souls of the victims, I would like to write about Odaishi-sama and Ojizo-sama this month.

JIZO BODHISATTVA is thought to be a guardian god for children and suffering people. So there are many temples in Japan where you pray to Jizo for health, safety, and happiness of your children. Odaishi-sama, Kukai was a real existence. He is worshipped by common people just as Jizo is.

In my town Karatsu, there also is an old Odaishi-sama temple. One of these days, I visited the place, Kakurinji, or, Koyasu-san, meaning child-safety temple, and prayed for my grandson Asahi's health and safety.

You are invited to see the temple around in this page. Have a nice time!

    Going up.
The pass is steep and muddy.
It is not easy, like Life itself.
Rough breathing.
Almost giving up, then I saw the light.
At the entrance of the temple,
I saw KANNON (Avalokitesvara)
who is the goddess of Mercy and Compassion.
I prayed here first.
This is the temple, Kakurinji.
I lit a candle, burned incense,
bowed deeply, and prayed palm to palm.
In the next room,
I found toys and dolls
which sad mothers asked Odaishi-sama
to give their children in the other world.
Looking up,
I found hundreds of Buddha images
on square panels of the ceiling,
donated by religious people.

 How did you like Kakurinji?  I hope you will really visit here someday.

The right photo is Ojizo-sama.
Jizo is always watching your children,
standing at the corner of streets,
at the edge of a forest, or a pond,

Next time you come to Japan,
please look carefully.
You will find Ojizo-sama here and there.

If you find one on a busy street-side,
there probably was an accident
and a life was lost some time before.

This is a terrifying world.
I pray that Jizo may appear
at every corner of the world.

Thank you very much for joining in my prayer.
I wish your children safety and good health.

See you next month.

Thank you very much for visiting this page.
I hope you will return next month.
Yours, Harumi Okochi

Proprietress of Ryokan Yoyokaku

  Mail to Harumi Okochi