Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Shodo Shonin: Founder of the Temples of Nikko

Statue of Shodo Shonin in Nikko

Shodo Shonin, a Buddhist monk, is the founder of the temples of Nikko. Legend has it that Shonin was unable to cross the raging Daiya river in Nikko. So Shonin prayed to the gods and and gods answered by throwing two snakes across the river. The snakes turned into a bridge, what is now the famous Shinkyo (snake) bridge.

Shinkyo bridge over the Daiya River in Nikko

Shodo Shonin crossed the Daiya river in 766. He founded the Shihon-ryu-ji Temple (the former name of Rinno-ji Temple). Later he exoplored the summit of the sacred Mount Nantai above Nikko and Lake Chuzenji. Shonin founded Chuzenji Temple in 782.

Shodo Shonin passed away in the year 817 and was buried in Kaizan-do Temple.


  1. That's cool. I haven't heard that story before. I had the chance to see it once, and my Japanese friend said something about it being a bridge for ghosts. Have you heard anything like that?

  2. No, I have not heard that. I wonder what that story is? I will try and find out about it.

  3. I'm not sure about the bridge being for ghosts either. Anyway, my former blog was listed on your site. I've restarted a new Japanese-related blog at http://divinewindvault.blogspot.com/

    I hope you have time to check it out and would love your feedback.