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kyonoki - 京のキー Temple wildlife

kyonoki

京のキー Temple wildlife

Temple wildlife

Anao-ji was started in 705 as a place for the worship of Yakushi, the Medicine Buddha, and since the middle-ages it has also been famous for its statue of the historical Buddha lying down shortly before his death.

This statue of Kannon is not open to the public these days, although officially it is to be displayed once every thirty-three years. It is said to have been carved in the early tenth century. According to the legend, a certain man ordered it made, and paid in advance. The statue was delivered before the deadline, and the man was so delighted with it that he presented the sculptor with his favorite horse. He soon regretted the gift, however, overtook the sculptor, shot and killed him with an arrow, and took the horse back. Hearing nothing about the matter for several days, the man became curious and sent a servant to Kyoto to inquire about the sculptor's health. He was amazed to receive a report that not only was the sculptor in fine (and uninjured) condition, the horse was there with him! He decided to take a look at the statue of Kannon and discovered that there was an arrow sticking into the breast. It was clear that Kannon had protected the sculptor. Going out to the stables, he saw that his horse was indeed gone. Overwhelmed with remorse, the man confessed, repented, and devoted his life to Kannon.*

*This story is found in a 12th century collection of tales called the Konjaku Monogatari: Book 16, Story 5.

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Rhod and Ki's tour of life in Kyoto, Japan.

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