Treasure of Kobohji Temple (“Spring Wind of Oga” in the Path of Masumi Sugae)

“At my visit to Kobohji temple on April 10, 1810, the priest showed me the treasures of the temple. They have a statue of Fudoson (Acala Buddha, a venerable status of Buddha that is specific to esoteric Buddhism) carved out by Myotaku (1308–1388). A self-portrait of Grand Master Kobo (or Kukai, 774–835) looked rather antiquated. A drawing of Buddha’s coming forth from the mountains (a favorite subject of paintings in the Zen sects) was by the hand of Sesshu (1420–1506). They also have a drawing of Buddha by a Chinese priest. A stone printing of Fudo Myo-o (Acala Buddha, also called Fudoson) was by the hand of Jikaku-Daishi (or Ennin, 793–864, one of the highest priests of the Tendai School of Japanese Buddhism).
A series of writings that Kobo-Daishi (or Kukai, 774–835) made with five brushes in his mouth, two hands, and two feet is bundled in a roll as Gohitsu-no-Shingyo (“Sacred Text by Five Brushes”). Mahaprajnaparamita sutra and a painting on a cloth of silk of Alara Kalama (a saint hermit and the first teacher of Buddha) playing the game of Go are both by the hand of Empress Komyo. In addition, they have two magical masks. One is a highly secret one used only when a Shinto priest performs a dance of prayer for rain. The other is a red mask of Tengu (long-nosed goblin) which the priest puts on for a dance to end the rain.
A small statue of Buddha carved out of phoenix stone placed in a small tower represents his skinny appearance during the ascetic training with little food on a snowy mountain. They also have precious stones such as tsume stone and kaminari-tsue stone. What is called lotus flower stone is probably a fossil of Fukinoto (edible flower bud of Fuki). After a Chinese hulling apparatus, they showed me the pit of a peach of Seioubo, a Chinese goddess of immortality.
The commanding fan of Abe-no-Sadato (1019–1062) looks old. A large bell is hung in a corner of the garden. The inscription on it reads: ‘The 1st of June 1362.’ My thought goes to the days more than four hundred years ago.”
(Quoted from “Spring Wind of Oga” by Masumi Sugae)

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