Watered Fudo-myo’o

Watered Fudo-myo'oBetween the bell tower and Mie-do you will see this covered shrine tucked away a small distance from the main path. This is a shrine to Fudo-myo’o (不動明王), a protector deity known as Acalanatha or just Acala in Sanskrit. The “fudo” in Japanese means “immovable,” and is a reference to Acala’s ability to remain unmoved by worldly temptations. At this shrine Fudo-myo’o is worshipped by pouring water over a statue of Acala. Visitors use long-handled ladles to collect spring water from beneath the large stone the statue sits upon to pour it over the statue.Watered Fudo-myo'o


Name Stickers at the Watered Fudo-myo’o

Name Sickers at the Watered Fudo-myo'oThese stickers are called “senja-fuda” in Japanese, the kanji characters in the word literally mean “thousand shrine tag” (千社札). Worshippers visiting temples would bring senja-fuda with their names printed on them and would paste them to structures on the temple grounds after finishing their prayers as a way of commemorating their visit. This is a tradition that has existed for quite some time, and you can make your own senja-fuda at small printing machines at arcades and other places around Kyoto (and other places in Japan, too!). Some stationery stores also sell pre-made stickers of common names. It would be largely considered inappropriate to paste stickers on historical and cultural properties now, so I don’t suggest you go sticking your personalized senja-fuda on anything without asking first. I don’t know what I would use them for, but now that I know more about the history of senja-fuda I’m tempted to go find a machine to make some on…