Kinan Guide on the Go


Waroza-ishi

Content Number:20728

Waroza-ishi
This is a massive, moss-covered, four-meter-wide rock lying by the roadside. The names of the three deities associated with Kumano Sanzan are carved into the front of the rock in Sanskrit: Amitabha Buddha, Yakushi (the Buddha of medicine and healing) and Kannon (the goddess of mercy), and there is an image of the three gods sitting together at a gathering here. Sanskrit developed in India in the pre-Christian era, and is closely connected to Buddhism, in particular the esoteric Buddhism that was brought to Japan by Kukai and Saicho. On the upper surface of the rock there are several circular patterns, which, because they resemble a ""waroda"" cushion woven into a spiral from straw, sedge or rush, have given the rock its name. The name ""Waroda"" is mentioned thus in the Konjaku Monogatarishu (Anthology of Tales from the Past): ""The devil's face with a single eye is red and seems as big as a waroda.

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Kumano Kodo – Okumotorigoe
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