8. Oriwatari Sentai Jizo Statues (Oriwatari one thousand Jizo Statues)
location: Yurihonjo – 10 minutes from Iwaya railway station by car
These Jizo statues were founded by Zesanzenshi Bonze (the same man who founded the 11 Faces Kannon) around 200 years ago. Originally, worshippers came to pray before these statues in the hope of long life.
Nowadays visitors pray in front of them for safety to passers-by and young children.
The Jizo statues originate from Fujian Province in China, and in the years after 1989 thousands of them were gradually brought here by contributors from all over Japan. The statues were set down in rows covering the whole mountain. It took a long time to complete and this place subsequently became the sacred mountain of Jizo.
These Jizo statues have also acquired another name, as “wart-removing Jizo”.
It is said that someone took one stone from here home and rubbed a wart with it as they prayed in the hope of curing it … and, sure enough, the wart actually dissapeared.
As a result, anyone who takes a stone away and cures their wart with it is supposed to replace it with 2 new stones from the sea.
keywords: traditions, religious belief
features: spiritual, silence, remove warts, bell
written by M Sato