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The 500 Rakan Statues, Miyajima

Gohyakurakan Garden at Daisho-in Temple

In the old days, Itsukushima Shrine was managed by Daisho-in Temple, where numerous Buddha statues are still displayed. But the most unique and intimate statues among them might be the 500 Rakan Statues in the garden that starts just to the left of the temple gate. Originally, Rakan referred to disciples directly instructed by Buddha. Later it came to mean a Buddhist monk who is worthy of respect and to make an offering to. In autumn, the 500 Rakan statues in the garden were sitting on a colorful carpet of autumn leaves. Many of the statues had red leaves on their shoulder or head. It was very pretty and instantly fascinated me.

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