Wednesday, January 18, 2012

500 statues of rakan at Kita-in

Among the attractions in Kawagoe Saitama prefecture, the 500 statues of Rakan at Kita-in temple are extremely popular, and are indispensable stopover for visitors of not only temple’s but to the Kawagoe area as well.

The Rakan figures, one of the three largest in Japan, are statues representing the disciples of Buddha. The 500 statues (actually 538) with no two alike, all in different position and with different face expression: smiling, crying, angry, praying, at rest, and many others, represent the various aspects of the Buddhist life.
Carved in stone between 1782 and 1825, the statues are in a walled area, in front of the Kita-in temple, hiding the statues to temple visitors, and thus often missed to visitors with not prior knowledge of the statues.

According to the tradition if you come in the middle of the night and feel the head of rakans you will find one that is warm, if you come in the morning to see this statue, this will be the one that most resembles you.

View Kita-in temple in a larger map


Ben Adelaide said...

I loved the warm statue tradition... cool (but would you try?).

Also, loved the photos... some really nice ones there.

islandjp said...

Thanks, this is a very nice place, unfortunately my photos don't really capture the vibe of the place. but in any case I think I will pass on an opportunity to come in the middle of the night to this place.