Odera’s Stone Pagodas

  • Modification: 2024/01/10
  • Area: harumaki

In this grove of camphor trees stand a few stacked natural stones and three gorintō (five-element Buddhist stone pagodas).

Due to the fact of there previously being a long-standing temple here at this site, residents of the area have long respectfully called this site Odera-san. In the special Yakushima Edition of the Kagoshima Mingu Academic Bulletin (March 2012), it was announced that in days past, a Buddhist temple of the Risshū sect called Goanji once stood at this site. Amongst the still-standing gorintō, the oldest are of a type that date back to the Risshū (mid 14th- to mid-15th centuries) or Hokke (late 15th- to early 16th centuries) eras. On Yakushima, this is the sole gorintō of the Risshū era.

The Risshū sect of Buddhism first flourished in China, eventually reaching Japan in 754 (Tenpyō-shōhō 6) through the proselytisation of the Chinese monk Jianzhen (Ganjin in Japanese). Jianzhen attempted the voyage to Japan five times and failed, losing his eyesight in the process. But on his sixth attempt, after passing through Ryūkyū (modern-day Okinawa), he stopped for ten days on Yakushima. Afterwards, he finally made landing on Japan via Akime port in Bōnotsu (near modern-day Minami-Satsuma City in Kagoshima Prefecture) before continuing on to Nara.

Odera’s Stone Pagodas



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