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Words-and-Pictures: The Shitenno

(as seen on November 12th, 2001, on the Shikoku stage of the Aki Meguri)

Note: The Shitenno are located at Yashimaji, Temple #84 of Shikoku's famous 88 Temple Pilgrimage.  You can read more about my visit there in my Logbook, or go to the Shikoku homepage to read about the entire journey.
 
At Yashimaji, Temple Number 84 of the Shikoku 88, there is a second gate between the Niomon (Two Kings Gate) and the hondo (main hall).  This is a four Kings gate, or more accurately, a four generals gate.  They are the guardians of the four directions.

The gate has four "bays," two front and two back (as do most Two Kings gates).  Under each picture below, I tell which bay the figure was found in; "left" and "right" mean when facing the front, so the characters were shot counterclockwise beginning in the right rear of the gate.
Name: Tamonten
Position: Back right
Direction: North
Color: Blue
Task: Listens to prayers; protects holy places
Symbol: Treasure (pagoda) and weapon (spear or club)
Name: Komokuten
Position: Back left
Direction: West
Color: Red
Task: Sees through evil
Symbol: Writing brush and scroll
Name: Zochoten
Position: Front left
Direction: South
Color: White
Task: Relieves people of suffering
Symbol: Spear
Name: Jikokuten
Position: Front right
Direction: East
Color: Green
Task: Maintains the world
Symbol: Sword
 
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