Katsuo-ji by Roméo A (Japan Photo Spot)

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Katsuo-ji - Photo by Roméo A
Drawn to the spiritual calm of this mountainous area, Buddhist priests Zenchu and Zensan first constructed a small hut here in the year 727. Myokan, a Buddhist monk known as the incarnation of Kannon Bosatsu, the Goddess of Mercy, sculpted a 2.4-meter-high sandalwood statue of Kannon with eleven faces and 1,000 hands. What’s intriguing about Katsuo-ji is that the temple and its grounds are strewn with innumerable dolls tucked into every nook and cranny.
The quirky red dolls — though you may see some in black and a few other colors — were modelled after the founder of Zen Buddhism who apparently sat so long in meditation that his arms and legs fell off! Hence the dolls’ round shape. The ones at this temple are called kachi-Daruma (winning Daruma.) Legend has it that a wish or goal written on a daruma doll here will come true. Write your goal on the bottom of the doll and the steps you will take to achieve it on its back, then say a prayer and paint in the doll’s right eye while fervently keeping your goal in mind. Take the doll home and display it somewhere prominent where it will motivate you. Once your goal has been achieved, draw in the other eye and return the daruma to the temple. (Minoh, Japan)

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