Day 1 – Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture
As we came off the Tohoku expressway and descended through the densely forested mountains into the delightful plain of AizuWakamatsu with its rice fields almost ripe enough to harvest, I was taken by surprise to note a huge Buddhist Kannon statue perched high on the hill overlooking the entire city. I’ve just been ‘Googling’ it to discover a bit more. Early this year someone posted on Trip Advisor, the following:
This statue of Goddess Kannon is seen upon entering the city of Aizu-Wakamatsu. Completed in 1987, it is 57 meters in height. The Goddess of Compassion and Mercy is depicted cradling an infant in her arms. This version of Kannon is called Jibo Kannon, the Loving Mother Kannon. People come here to pray for the departed souls of children. Altars inside of the statue are adorned with offerings of sweets, model cars and teddy bears. This gigantic statue is hollow within, and serves as both a place of worship and viewing platform, whereat the lookouts are in Kannon’s eyes. A spiral staircase leads to the top, and along it are placed 10,000 golden statuettes in-memoriam, names beneath each one.
Photo from “Fukushima Trip”
Written by Helen.
Will you pray for Japan?
- Pray that through the little church we visited, the people of the city of Aizu, Wakamatsu would find the one and only living God of love, compassion, mercy and grace and discover in him the path to eternal life.