Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Yukake Jizo Statue

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.
The story goes -
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).


  1. Very interesting story. If I had the same encounter, I wish my wish will be granted too!@u@

  2. Very interesting story. If I had the same encounter, I wish my wish will be granted too!@u@

  3. It looks lovely and serene.

  4. @ristinw,
    I wish mine would too. A fulfilled life, surrounded by loved ones. That would be my wish. ^^

  5. @Lisa,
    It sure is.

    And one can be so serene too, visiting that place where the statue was located. :)

  6. Thank you for translating this story.In most of the sightseeing spot you can find the guide written in English.Recently Chinese are added to the English. :)

  7. @cocomino,
    If it's written in kanji, most of those who can read Chinese can read the kanji words and understand as well. :)

    It's good that these places have explanations in languages other than Japanese. Knowing and understanding the significance and history goes a long way towards appreciating a place. :)

  8. A lot of jizos have a story, so I was told that we should not handle jizo roughly, For example, don't pee to jizo even if it is dirty (=old moss-covered one), when I was childhood.
    I think it is the mind of care about things rather than iconolatry.

  9. @bidmini,
    I think so too. But having a legend behind the statues makes them more interesting and let's face it, we treat icons and legends with better care, right? ^^

    I think it'll be so cool if I can get to know a lot of the folk stories of Japan. :)

  10. Interesting story! So will you be going to Bessho Onsen again? : )

  11. @foong,
    Nope. Not this year.

    We are going to another onsen town, far, far down south in Kyushu instead. ^^

  12. I agree, a very interesting story. I would love to have a hot spring close by. I hope you get to soak in there soon. If not there, maybe another Japan onsen?

  13. @AVCr8teur,
    Definitely going for an onsen, and a different one this year. :)

  14. Very interesting story and looks like a memorable place to visit. Will you be back in that area this time round?

    Japan Australia

  15. No one turn Yukake Jizo Statue into a wishing fountain by throwing in coins and making a wish?

  16. @Japan Australia,
    I wish I can return, but there are so many places to visit in Japan that we have yet to visit. So, no. Not returning to Bessho Onsen this year.

  17. @Bananazஇ,
    I think for this statue, you are supposed to pour water on the statue, with a scoop provided nearby and make a wish?

  18. I hv seen this Nichiren quite often in jap manga. We are going 4 onsen too next weekend, M'sia onsen, lol!

  19. @Alice,
    Wahh... nice.

    Enjoy your Malaysian onsen visit. :)

    Where is it?

  20. Tambun hot springs,Ipoh. wakakakaka!

  21. @Alice,
    Nice owh. I've never been there. Only passed by. ;p


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