8ft tall, with red beard dressed in a blue frock
Trip Start Jan 03, 1976
171Trip End Ongoing
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Taken from the Story of Koyasan
Kobo Daishi proceeded to Mt. Koya. When he reached Uji he came face to face with a giant about eight feet tall, with a red beard and dressed in a blue frock. The impressive looking man was a hunter, armed with bow and arrows, and he was followed by two dogs, one black and the other white. The hunter was the god Kariba Myojin in disguise. Guided by the dogs, Kobo Daishi continued on his journey and met a goddess, who led him to the summit of the mountain
Kobo Daishi opened the mountain the following year and began construction of the head temple, the Kongobuji. He spent the rest of his life helping to build with his own hands the wonderful monastery now associated with his name. In November 834 he gathered his disciples and told them that he would enter the Diamond Meditation on the twenty-first day of March in the following year. He transitioned peacefully in his sixty-second year on the day he had foretold, and is believed to be resting in meditation at Gobyo, awaiting the advent of Miroku Butsu.
It was in this way, that Koyasan came into existence.
(back to me) Its now a rather religous place,a village on the top of Mt Koya, which is in Wakayama, a few hours from Osaka.
Mum and Dad took me up for a stay and I was really impressed with the (sorry to be such a tourist) way it seemed to be the Japan we all look for when coming to Japan. The place is full of temples (and shrines), some of which you can stay at yourself, as long as you are willing to get up at 5am and meditate. Both times I went to Koyasan it was shrouded in mist, added to the eeriness of the grave yard. Many of the graves have post boxes, and there are seemingly thousands of graves for aborted and miscarried babies, one place had a large mound of little statue-ettes, placed for the aborted babies spirit. These babies are often left presents and toys to ease their after life.
When David came up for a visit several months later I took him and Tracey up to have a look at Koyasan.