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Words and Pictures: Honsenji

Note: This selection of Words-and-Pictures was made on September 6, 2001, as I walked on the Old Tokaido.

This lovely Buddhist temple is between Shinagawa in Tokyo Prefecture and Kawasaki in Kanagawa Prefecture, which are Stations #1 and 2 respectively (from Nihombashi in Tokyo) on the Old Tokaido Highway. You can read about my visit to Honsenji in my Logbook.

I visited Honsenji again in the summer of 2004 as part of a pilgrimage to the Edo Roku-jizo (Six Jizos of Edo). An account of this will someday be posted elsewhere on The Temple Guy.

Honsenji's charming front gate

This large statue is just outside the gate. It is one of the Edo Roku-jizo--one of the six statues of Jizo surrounding Tokyo to protect it. Jizos often come in sixes, one for each "world" in one form of Buddhist cosmology. Finding six jizo together by the roadside is quite common out in the country.

The stairs to the shoro (bell tower). There is a true story about this bell being lost and returned--a common motif in Japanese religious legends.

The beautiful Chinese-style Hondo (main hall) contains a hidden image of "Suigetsu (water-moon) Kannon." Though she can't be seen, her image is one of a Kannon sitting by water, gazing at the moon's reflection in it.

This small Benten-do (a hall dedicated to Benten, patroness of music and the only female in the popular shichifukujin or "Seven Lucky Gods") also reflects Chinese style.

Honsenji also has its own homepage (in Japanese).

Posted September 23, 2019

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