There are plenty of things to see and learn about at Bessho Onsen and not just about soaking in hot spring water if you vacation there. I've written a number of posts on Bessho Onsen and that's because a visit there was truly enjoyable for us. There are still a number of places we've yet to visit there. Our 2D1N there last year sure wasn't enough!
Under this nondescript wooden structure is the
The Yukake Jizo Statue at Bessho Onsen.
When a man named Shunzo who had deep faith in the great Nichiren was travelling through the swamps of Sado to pay respects to the imprisoned teacher, he heard a voice calling "Shunzo, Shunzo" yet nobody was seen.
The voice then said " I have been trapped in the mud for a very long time. How I would love to soak myself in the springs of Shinano. If you cleanse me there, I will grant your wishes".
Shunzo then entered the swamp and extracted a single jizo (Ksitigarbha deity) and he rushed to Shinano and placed it in the waters of Bessho. From that time, Shunzo lived a joyous life blessed with a beautiful wife and children.
On Nichiren - he was a controversial figure during his time. Born in 1222 in the village of Kominato, Nagase district. One source of controversy is the perception that Nichiren Buddhism is exclusivist.
This can be traced to Nichiren's remonstrations with government officials and leaders of the Buddhist schools in Japan. He criticized them for their manipulations of the populace for political and religious control. Citing Buddhist sutras and commentaries, Nichiren argued that the Buddhist teachings were being distorted for their own gain (see the compilation of Nichiren's exchanges with government leaders and Buddhist practitioners in "The Writings of Nichiren Daishonin" 1999).