Sunafumi sacred sand


Stepping on sacred sand (sunafumi)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: May and October
***** Category: Observance


o-sunafumi, osunafumi お砂踏み
stepping on sacred sand

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At the temple Tamagawa Daishi in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo there is a special ceremony twice a year,
in May and October from the 21st to the 23nd,
where people pray in front of hanging scrolls of the 88 Temples of the Shikoku Pilgrimage and the 33 Temples of the pilgrimage in honour of Kannon Bosatsu.

Pilgrimage(henro, junrei)
Pilgrims. Japan and worldwide

玉川大師 お砂踏み 大祭
Tamagawa Daishi Temple and the Big Ceremony in May and October

In the temple grounds there are over 300 stone statues of Buddhas while you walk along replikas of the Shikoku and the Kannon Pilgrimage. The last statue on the pilgrimage is one of Kobo Daishi himself.
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川崎大師 お砂踏み 遍路道
Kawasaki Daishi Temple in Kawasaki City and the Sacred Sand Walking The Sacred Sand Walking was taken up as a means to improve the health and legs of the visitors. Under each stone memorial of one of the 88 temples of the Shikoku pilgrimage there is a bit of Sacred Sand in the ground, so you can actually “Walk in Shikoku”.
At Kawasaki Daishi there is a big Daruma Market during the first Days of the New Year, where our Daruma is sold in the thousands.
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Temple Shootoku-ji 聖徳寺
Tsuyama Town, Okayama prefecture
In Honour of the 88 temples of the Shikoku Pilgirmage and the 33 Temples dedicated to Kannon (Avalokiteshvara) in the Saikoku area of Western Japan.
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Temple Iza-Ji 医座寺
The main object of veneration is Yakushi Nyorai, the Buddha of Healing.
His statue is carved in stone, the letters are said to be the handwriting of Dengyoo Daishi, the great Buddhist teacher and founder of the Tendai Sect.

While you stand in front of the stone saying your prayers, you tread on sand from Shikoku, doing the SUNAFUMI of the temples with Yakushi Nyorai. The stone where you stay has the form of Buddha’s footprints.
Stay there firmly and pray for your future career and it might be granted. Shusse Yakushi, the Yakushi Buddha for your Career, might take care of things.
Say the mantra of Yakushi three times, stepping on the stone firmly.

On korokoro sendari madowagi sowaka.

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. Fukusenji 福泉寺 Fukusen-Ji - Yokohama .

Yakushi Nyorai 薬師如来、
Buddha of Medicine and Healing


O-Sunafumi in Hawaii
Local residents may re-create a famous pilgrimage for healing through the Osunafumi 88 Temples exhibit in the Pikake room. Soil was brought from each of the Shikoku island temples to allow participants to make the mini-pilgrimage.


四国霊場お砂撫で o-suna nade
stroking the sacred sand

a ceremony held in various places, with bags of sand from Shikoku

atatakaku Shikoku reijoo o-suna nade

on a warm day
we stoke the sacred sand -
Shikoku pilgrimage

Shooji 湘次


The Pilgrimage to 33 Kannon Temples
To learn about Kannon Bosatsu.

In his/her honour there are many pilgrimages all over Japan to 33 temples in the localities. Mark Schumacher has a good page about this.
... Kannon Bosatsu


Worldwide use

Things found on the way


Related words

..... BACKUP Sunafumi



Gabi Greve said...

Gofunai 御府内八十八ヶ所霊場 88 Henro Temples in Edo
Go-Funai 88kasho
Gofunai Pilgrimage Junrei in the central area of Tokyo

When the Gofunai route was established in Edo, temples of other sects participated too. They all have a statue of Kobo Daishi in the compound, surrounded by sacred sand from the Shikoku pilgrim route, thus the Edo pilgrims could "step on sacred sand" .
Some temples have お砂踏の石 a stone memorial, a flat stone to step on with the "Sacred Sand" in mind.

Gabi Greve said...

光松山 Koshozan 威盛院 Ijo-In 放生寺 Hojo-Ji
新宿区西早稲田2-1-14 / 2 Chome-1-14 Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku ward

In the compound is a stone arrangement to step on the sacred sand of Shikoku:

Gabi Greve said...

Iwatsuki Fudo 岩槻不動
Nr. 31 光岩山 - 釈迦院 Shaka-In - 彌勒密寺 Mirokumitsu-Ji
岩槻大師 Iwatsuki Daishi

with Osunafumi