Hiroshima Great Buddha


August 8, 2022

The Great Buddha of Hiroshima was enshrined in Hiroshima City after the atomic bombing to mourn the victims of the atomic bombing and war, but disappeared 10 years later and was rediscovered in Nara Prefecture half a century later. is.


A wooden seated statue of Amida Nyorai, about 4 meters in height, 8 shaku wide at the knees, 4 shaku wide at the face, and 4 shaku long. Weight is about 400 kg. Said to have been carved and finished from a single goyomatsu, it can be disassembled into three parts: the head, body, and legs.


Until the Meiji Era

In 1201 (the first year of the Kennin era), Buddhist sculptor Anami created this statue in response to the prayers of Tsuneyoshi Tozawa, who was the lord of Shinjoyama Castle in Mogami County, Dewa Province (Yamagata Prefecture). After that, it was enshrined at Fukusho-ji Temple in Shinjo City. In 1869 (Meiji 2), Fukusho-ji Temple moved to Echigo Province (Niigata Prefecture), and this Great Buddha was left behind in Shinjo. In order to escape the anti-Buddhist movement, the head and the body were stored separately, and were handed over to Mr. Imaizumi, a Sofu family. After that, the head was taken out and secured in Iikura 3-chome, Azabu-ku, Tokyo, and the body was hidden in Yokomachi, Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture (now Honmachi).

Moved to Sandankyo

In 1925 (Taisho 14), Eizaburo Goto, a Buddhist practitioner living in Hiroshima Prefecture, learned of the location of the statue, took over it, and reassembled the head and torso. Since the middle of the Taisho era, Sandankyo has become known as a scenic spot, and the number of tourists has increased year by year. In 1925, Kumananho, who introduced Sandankyo to the world, proposed that the Great Buddha be relocated and enshrined as the guardian deity of Sandankyo. There was little support from residents due to the high cost. Azuma Goto, who wanted to get it installed no matter what, continued to persuade him and obtained 12 supporters. These 13 people purchased the statue and borrowed 2,000 yen from a money lender in Hiroshima. The purchased Daibutsu was enshrined in a temporary shrine in Sanjuen near Niitsu-jinja Shrine, then moved to Shiwagi, Togouchi-cho, Yamagata-gun, and temporarily enshrined in Saizen-ji Temple. In 1926 (Taisho 15), he brought it back to Tarutoko Village, but the roads were in poor condition and there was no truck transportation yet, so he disassembled the statue into three pieces, put them in a box, put them on three horse-drawn carriages, and rode with them. A person attached a rope to the box and painstakingly carried it up while protecting it from tilting, and placed it in the hospital residence. For three days from September 24th to 26th, 1923, in commemoration of the enshrining of the Great Buddha, Sumioka Kyōfu (Yakō) and Kamase Shisen, founders of the recently established Jodo Shinshu sect, the founder of Komyodan. I invited him to give a lecture on Buddhism. A total of 283 people visited the shrine during the three days. In "Yamagata-gun Meguri Dochuki," it is called 'Tarutoko no Daibutsu-san,' and in 'Yamagata-gun Shashincho' and 'Tarutoko Shi,' it is called 'Sandankyo Daibutsu.' The Daibutsuden was originally planned to be built upstream of Mitsutaki Waterfall in Sandankyo (the location of the current Geihoku Folk Museum), but due to the outbreak of World War II, construction was not carried out, and it was temporarily enshrined on the hill behind the temple until after the end of the war. It had been.

Great Buddha Memorial for Atomic Bomb Victims

When Eizaburo Goto, the first owner of the Great Buddha, passed away, Yoshinori Nasu of Ogaki-cho (now Etajima-shi), who was entrusted with everything, cooperated with Yoshinao Ouchi, the chief priest of Yuishin-ji Temple in Funairikawaguchi-cho, Hiroshima. He requested the Sandankyo Scenic Beauty Preservation Society to enshrine Sandankyo Daibutsu as the principal image of the ``Hiroshima Memorial Pagoda,'' which mourns the victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, war dead overseas, and all other war victims. Nasu paid Goto Azuma 150,000 yen as a storage fee so far, and received the statue. Sandankyo on September 27, 1949 (Showa 24)