- - ABC-INDEX - -

4/26/2014

pokkuri - sudden death

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pokkuri  ぽっくり amulets for a sudden death, "drop dead"
korori ころり to bring a sudden change
pokkuri 輔苦離 - 法功力 pokuri - 放苦利
(help to let go of the pain of life
po ku ri 保久利 - 久しくご利益が保たれる
On the verge of death, when your time is up, Amida will come and lead you over.
臨終来迎、阿弥陀さまが迎えに来られ保久利往生する.
So a sudden death because of an accident is not really "pokkuri".
To live happily and healthy your own life until Amida comes to pick you up 保久利 . . .

pokkuridera ぽっくり寺 / pokkuri san ポックリさん a temple famous for pokkuri amulets

KORORI seems to be a favorite pronunciation in Northern Japan.

pin pin korori PPK(ピンピンコロリ)
ぴんぴん元気に長生きし、ころりと大往生 - for health, health and sudden death

The wish of many, to live happy and healthy and in the end - be gone in a second.
Temples who cater to the wish of a sudden death are growing rapidly in Japan with its ageing population.

Many temples and shrines sell amulets for general health,

. kenkoo omamori 健康御守 amulets for good health .

. byooma taisan 病魔退散 amulets for warding off disease .

anraku oojoo 安楽往生 anraku ojo - an easy pass-over to heaven
chooju 長寿 longevity - choujukoku 長寿国 a country of longevity
gokuraku oojoo 極楽往生 gokuraku ojo - an easy pass-over to Paradise
jooe, joo-e 浄衣 "clean robe" for a dead person - jooe kigan 浄衣祈願 prayer for a clean robe
jumyou 寿命 life expectancy
korori Kannon ころり観音 Kannon Bosatsu granting a sudden death
koshimaki kitoo 腰巻祈祷 prayer for a kimono undergarment (koshimaki "hip wrapper", underskirt for women)
omatagi, matagi おまたがい "honorable squatting toilet"
pokkuri oojoo ぽっくり往生 to pass-over to heaven suddenly
roosui 老衰  "to grow old and become infirm", become senile

".. old people want to die without suffering from long-term illness so that their family members would not have to provide care for them such as helping them to the toilet and changing diapers."
Read the study by Yumi Takahashi at the end.


. Toilet, outhouse (benjo 便所, no setchin 野雪隠, toire) kawaya 厠 - habakari 憚り.


Some deities are becoming "specialists" to grant a sudden death:

Amida Nyorai 阿弥陀如来 with his paradise in the west is a favorite.
(see below)

. pokkuri Benten ポックリ弁天 / ぽっくり弁天  .
Seneiji 専栄寺  / 専榮寺 Senei-Ji - Chiba


. pokkuri Fudoo ポックリ不動尊 Fudo Myo-O to grant a sudden death .
Joorakuji 常楽寺 Joraku-Ji Jorakuji - and - Keishooji 桂昌寺 Keisho-Ji - Gunma
Jikooji 慈光寺 Jiko-Ji - Ibaraki

. pokkuri Jizoo ポックリ地蔵 Jizo Bosatsu .
nakayoshi pokkuri Jizo 仲良しポックリ地蔵 two friendly pokkuri Jizo, 伽耶院 Gaya-In Hyogo
o-wasure pokkuri Jizo お忘れポックリ地蔵, 観自在寺 Kankuzai-Ji, Ehime
Chootokuji 長徳寺 Chotoku-Ji, Kanagawa
Jikufuji 地福寺 Jifuku-Ji, Tokushima
Kashima Jinja 鹿島神社・萱場, Ibaraki
Kooshooji 郷照寺 - Koshoj-Ji, Kagawa
Raiooji 来応寺 Raio-Ji, Aichi


. korori Kannon ころり観音 / コロリ観音 Kannon Bosatsu granting sudden death .
- - - - - pokkuri Kannon ぽっくり観音 / ポックリ観音
Fumonji 普門寺 Fumon-Ji, Gunma
Hasedoo 長谷堂 Hase-Do Hall, Yamagata
Komagata Chooju Kannondoo 駒形長寿観音堂 Komagata Choju Kannon-Do Hall
Kooanji 弘安寺 Koan-Ji - Nakada Kannon 中田観音, Fukushima, Aizu
Kooryuuji 高龍寺 Koryu-Ji, Ehime
Myoohooji 妙法寺 Myoho-Ji - Torioi Kannon 鳥追観音, Fukushima, Aizu
Eryuuji 恵隆寺 Eryu-Ji, Fukushima, Aizu
Tookokuji 東谷寺 Tokoku-Ji, Ibaraki
Ryuusenji 龍泉寺 Ryusen-Ji, Ryusenji, Tokyo, Hachioji



Shaka Nyorai 釈迦如来 - see below

Yakushi Nyorai 薬師如来 - see below


. pokkuri Daishi ポックリ大師 Kobo Daishi Kukai 弘法大師空海 .
Fukusenji 福泉寺 Fukusen-Ji, Yokohama
Hassaki Daishi Doo 泊崎大師堂 Hassaki Daishi Hall, Tsukuba

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There are even some Shinto shrines to cater for this need - ぽっくり神社 :

. pokkuri Kobo Daishi Shrine ぽっくり弘法大師の社 .
Arakuma Jinja 荒熊神社, Aichi

. pokkuri tengu ぽっくり天狗 Tengu, the long-nosed goblin .
Hoogihoogi Jinja 宝来宝来神社 Hogihogi Jinja, Kumamoto

. pokkuri Jizoo ポックリ地蔵 .
Kashima Jinja 鹿島神社, Ibaraki


Pokuri Jinja 放苦利神社 
栃木県足利市月谷町, Tochigi, Ashikaga town, near the temple Jooinji 淨因寺 Join-Ji.
Since more than 300 years ago when the local people suffered greatly from famine, harsh rice taxes, poverty and illness.
Now there is a group of stone Buddha statues and a sign nearby.

under construction
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pokkuri oojoo 「ポックリ往生」を叶えるパワースポットガイドブック
Guide book to all the Pokkuri power spots in Japan


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- quote
Praying for a 'pokkuri' moment: No muss, no fuss

When it’s time to meet your maker, do you want to hang in there as long as possible, even if you are bed-ridden, in pain and in an assisted-living residence, or do you just want to ‘‘pop off?’’ In Japan, there’s a temple devoted to ‘‘popping off,’’ or “pokkuri” in Japanese.

It’s true, that in Japan, every year, thousands of elderly people visit Kichidenji Temple in Nara Prefecture where they pray for a “pokkuri” death — preferably during sleep or a sudden heart attack — so they are not a burden on their families during their final days. According to the Economist magazine, more and more temples in Japan are now getting on the “pokkuri” bandwagon, some for holy reasons, some for financial gain.

Kichidenji Temple was established in 987 by a monk whose mother had passed away peacefully wearing clothes that he had prayed over. As time passed, a new Japanese tradition took shape, and now elderly people visit Kichidenji to pray for a discreet and quick passing. Although most of the visitors and supplicants are Japanese, foreigners often visit the temple as well, mostly out of curiosity, and the blogosphere is lit up here and there with photographs of the temple and maps on how to get there.

According to the temple’s chief priest, pilgrims making their way to the temple will chant a holy phrase and beat a wooden block, which makes popping sounds (thus the term ‘‘to pop off’‘). I am not making any of this up.

But is it time now to borrow this word from Japan and make it our own?
“God, grant us a good life, a useful (and meaningful) life, and when it’s time, let us ‘pokkuri’ in a dignified, discreet way.”
- source : www.japantoday.com - opinions - Dan Bloom


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- ABC - List of some pokkuri sanctuaries from the Prefectures

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. . . . . . . . . . Nara

Two temples related to
Genshin 源信  (942-1017), Eshin Soozu 恵心僧都 Eshin Sozu
and his mother, for details read below, the study of Yumi Takahashi.

- quote
Genshin (源信; 942 – July 6, 1017), also known as Eshin Sozu, was the most influential of a number of Tendai scholars active during the tenth and eleventh centuries in Japan.



He was not a wandering evangelist as Kūya was, but was an elite cleric who espoused a doctrine of devotion to Amida Buddha which taught that because Japan was thought to have entered mappō, the "degenerate age" of the "latter law," the only hope for salvation lay in the reliance on the power of Amitabha.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


- The Influence of Genshin's Ojoyoshu on Honen
- source : www.jsri.jp/English/Honen


- Fudo Myo-O statue carved by Genshin :
. Haragomori Fudo 腹ごもり不動明王 / お腹ごもり不動尊
Fudo granting pregnancy and easy birth .

Ryuuganji 龍厳寺 Ryugan-Ji, Kawasaki

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Anichiji 阿日寺 Anichi-Ji
香芝市良福寺361
pokkuri san ぽっくりさん / ポックリさん "dear Pokkuri temple"

Founded more than 1000 years ago by Enshin. Legend says he was even born here...



. . . CLICK here for Photos !



statue of Amida 阿弥陀如来立像
- source : inoisa2.exblog.jp

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Kichidenji 吉田寺 Kichiden-Ji
清水山 顕光院 吉田寺
奈良県生駒郡斑鳩町小吉田1-1-23 - Nara

- quote
Kichidenji Temple is located in the north of the village of Koyoshida near Ikaruga Town in Nara Prefecture. The temple is commonly referred to as Pokkuri Temple.

The Tenji Emperor ordered a grave to be built at this site for his sister, Hashihito-no-himemiko, and in the first year of the Eien period (987), Genshin built a temple here.

The name 'Pokkuri' ('drop dead') derives from the story that Genshin prayed to keep off evil spirits as his mother lay dying, so she could die without pain.



You should not miss the statue of seated Amida in one of the main buildings. It is about 4.85m tall and is the biggest wooden statue in Nara as well as a National Important Cultural Asset. It is said that if you pray in front of this statue, you will live longer.

The rare Taho pagoda, also in Nara, was built in the fourth year of the Kansei period (1463), and has been designated as an Important Cultural Asset.
- source : nippon-kichi.jp

- Homepage of the temple
- source : www.kichidenji.com

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Kichiden-ji and Anichi-Ji are considered among the "three great pokkuri temples of Japan" 日本三大ポックリ.

The third great pokkuri temple is a pokkuri Jizo Bosatsu :
.Jizooji 地蔵寺 Jizo-Ji .
Kagawa, Mitoyo city

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Sekkooji 石光寺(せっこうじ)Seko-Ji
Kasadoo 傘堂 Kasado hall
奈良県葛城市染野387

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. . . . . . . . . . Saitama

Joomanji 常満寺 Joman-Ji Pokkuri-dera 石屋山常満寺 ぽっくり寺
埼玉県日高市高萩2087



chuufuu yoke 中風除 amulet against palsy and apoplex
boke yoke ボケ除け not to become senile

- Homepage of the temple
- source : ぽっくり寺.jp/omamori.html


. boke yoke ボケ除け守 / boke fuji ボケ封じ amulet not to become senile .

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. . . . . . . . . . Shizuoka


Myootokuji 明徳寺 Myotoku-ji
Kinryuzan Myotoku-ji - Izu Peninsula
静岡県伊豆市市山234


Deity in residence in Ususama Myo-O ウスサマ明王.


omatagi おまたぎ Japanese-style toilet
People squat here and pray for help with incontinence and toilet problems in old age.


selling underwear as amulets for men and women
for ladies there are zuroosu ズロース drawers
- source : b-spot.seesaa.net/article


. Ususama Myo-O ウスサマ明王 . A Toilet Deity .

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Kenshoji 見性寺 Kensho-Ji - Pokkuri san ぽっくりさん

曹洞宗 静岡県静岡市葵区新間1089 - Shinma Aoi-ku, Shizuoka, 421-1201054-278-9790

pokkuri 輔苦離 (written with these kanji)
"someone helping humans to let go of the pain of living"

「ぽっくり」=「輔苦離」とは、「苦しみから離れる(遠ざかる)ことを輔(たす)けて

新間見性寺「輔苦離往生佛祈祷大祭」祈祷札!


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. Shaka Nyorai 釈迦如来  Gautama Buddha .

Shaka-In 釈迦院
熊本県八代市泉町柿迫5535 - Kumamoto


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. Yakushi Nyorai 薬師如来 Buddha of Medicine .

pokkuri Yakushi ポックリ薬師

Saikooin 西光院 Saiko-In
埼玉県川口市戸塚2-6-29 - Saitama

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Sokujooin 即成院 Sokujo-In
京都市東山区泉涌寺山内町28 - Kyoto
This temple also has the grave of Yasu no Yoichi 那須与一.
Now it is 脱ポックリ寺 no longer a pokkuri temple.

- source : www.mitera.org/sokujouin

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- - - - - further reference -


po ku ri 法功力 pokuri

pokkuri kenkyuujo ポックリ研究所 study group for pokkuri death
- source : endingplanner.com


ぴんぴん ぽっくり♪と - List of 54 temples
- source : ameblo.jp/olibanumoon-1


Pokkurisan Pokkuridera - TBA
- source : tencoo.fc2web.com


年寄りとぽっくり寺 - TBA
● Sanno-Ji 山王寺(さんのうじ):京都府亀岡市曽我部町犬飼北山3番地 ● Kosho-Ji 八事山興正寺(やごと山こうしょうじ):名古屋市昭和区八事本町78 ● Jako-In 寂光院(じゃくこういん):紅葉寺 愛知県犬山市継鹿尾山 ● Hosen-Ji in Tottori 法泉寺:鳥取市立川町1丁目151 ● Saizen-Ji 西善寺:埼玉県秩父郡横瀬町横瀬598 ●Chogon-Ji 長言寺:埼玉県秩父郡皆野町国神 ● Kenmyo-Ji 顕妙寺:千葉県いすみ市長志193(旧大原町) ● pokkuri-dera in Kyoto ポックリ寺:東京都千代田区淡路2-3-2
- source : blog.goo.ne.jp/2261394/e

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ゆっくりとぽっくり寺の春惜しむ
yukkuri to pokkuri-dera no haru oshimu

leisuerly I savour
the passing of spring
at Pokkuri Temple


Nakayama Ishino 中山石野


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- quote
Pokkuri-dera
The meaning of longevity among Japanese elderly
by: Yumi Takahashi

Introduction
Japan has enjoyed fame as a choujukoku (a country of longevity). In 2003, the life expectancy for Japanese females was 85.23 years old, whereas that of Japanese males was 78.32 years old Asahi Shimbun, 2003). The number of elderly who are over 100 years old have significantly increased within four decades from 153 in 1963 to over 20,000 in 2003 (Asahi Shimbun, 2003). Great advances in medicine have largely contributed to the ability to live longer.

Living longer, however, does not necessarily guarantee quality of life in old age. One may live until 100 years old or over while being bedridden for years due to prolonged illness. While there is a great potential to live longer, the quality of that prolonged life becomes a crucial question. As stated earlier, is often referred to chouju-koku, to which poses a sharp criticism. Ei (1994) states that the Japanese terms chouju (longevity) and jumyou (life expectancy) presume that living long is happy and joyous. He goes on to state that if there is no meaningful, enriched quality of life in such a long life, the Japanese term choumei (long life [without positive implications]) seems to be more appropriate than the term chouju or jumyou. Then, if there is a lack of quality of life in the life of Japanese elderly, Japan should be referred to as choumei-koku (a country of long life) rather than chouju-koku. This raises the question of the meaning of living longer and quality of life in old age. (snip)

Pokkuri-Dera in Japan
Pokkuri-dera have been in existence a long time in Japan. Some temples have a long history as pokkuri-dera, while others recently began to be identified as pokkuri-dera (Woss, 1993). Despite their long existence in Japan, pokkuri-dera had not received special attention from the Japanese elderly until the 1970s (Tsukamoto, 1976; Woss, 1993) . During the 1970s, there was rising interest in the social problems associated with the increasing number of the elderly in Japanese society. The majority of these problems were connected to concerns about caregiving for the elderly. Around this time, pokkuri-dera started to gain in popularity not among those who were concerned with providing care but among the elderly who would be receiving care.

Definition
Woss (1993)defines pokkuri-dera as “temples where prayers for an easy death are, it is believed, likely to be granted” (p. 192). Pokkuri-dera are Buddhist temples, many of which belong to the Jodo-shu or Jodo Shinshu sects of Pure Land Buddhism (Woss, 1993). Among all the pokkuri-dera that exist throughout Japan, the most popular ones can be found in the areas of Nara and Kyoto (Woss, 1993). What makes pokkuri-dera unique compared to other Buddhist temples is the prayer for a pokkuri death that they offer.

The Japanese term “pokkuri” generally refers to a sudden change from one state to another (Niimura, 1998; Tsukamoto, 1976). When it is used with objects, it refers to a state in which an object suddenly breaks in a fragile way. Within the same context, the term pokkuri can also be used to refer to a state of dying that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly without suffering from long-term illness. Thus, as defined by Woss (1993) and Long (2003), a pokkuri death means to die suddenly, unexpectedly, and peacefully without having to suffer from prolonged illness and staying healthy until just before death takes place. This way of dying can be described as “just fall over dead as with a heart attack” (Long, 2001, p. 272) or “suddenly, like when you get up and you’re brushing your teeth and you have a cerebral hemorrhage and die” (Long, 2003, p. 47). However, it should be noted that a pokkuri death should not be interpreted simply as stated above since there are complicated factors associated with it. These factors will be addressed later.

History
The desire for a pokkuri-death seems to have long existed among Japanese people as seen in one poem created in 1845 which reads
“I wish to die, a sudden death with eyes, fixed on Mount Fuji”
(Long, 2003, p. 47). Similarly, some pokkuri-dera have existed in Japan for a long time with a long history of granting a pokkuri death to those who come to pray. According to Woss (1993), those pokkuri-dera with a long history are often linked to a particular saint or holy person who is believed to have experienced a peaceful, sudden death at pokkuri-dera. A statue of Kannon, a bodhisattva associated with mercy, is also often found at pokkuri-dera (Traphgan, 2000). This particular Kannon at pokkuri-dera is often called Korori Kannon, in which the word korori shares a very similar meaning to pokkuri (Tsukamoto, 1976).

One example of such traditional pokkuri-dera is Anichi-ji in Nara prefecture (Tsukamoto, 1976). This temple is also known as a temple of Genshin, a Pure Land Buddhist saint. According to its history, when Genshin’s mother was nearing the end of her life, she was suffering from her illness that was believed to be caused by the devils’ evil spirits. He put new clean white clothing called joue on her and performed a prayer for her at this temple to be able to escape from any kind of devilishness that had been causing her suffering. With the help of his prayer, his mother’s suffering ceased and she was able to die peacefully at the age of 72. It is believed that she had a peaceful smile on her face when she died, as if she were experiencing an image of Pure Land in her mind. After her death, Genshin carved a wooden statue of Amida Buddha, which became the principal deity at this temple. This episode is believed to have created the temple’s connection to pokkuri-dera.

Another example of the traditional pokkuri-dera is Kichiden-ji in Nara prefecture (Tsukamoto, 1976; Woss, 1993). Similar to Anichi-ji, this temple is one of the most popular and most frequently visited pokkuri-dera. This temple is also associated with Genshin who is believed to be the founder of the temple. The episode of this temple is very similar to that of Anichi-ji. It is believed that his mother was able to die peacefully without suffering after he had offered a prayer for her koshimaki (kimono undergarment) in front of the statue of Amida Buddha at this temple (Tsukamoto, 1976; Woss, 1993). This wooden statue of Amida Buddha, the principal deity of this temple, is thought to have been carved by Genshin. With the association to koshimaki, this temple is often referred to Koshimaki-dera (Koshimaki-temple). The printed pamphlet of this temple states that people have continuously visited this temple for over 1,000 years to receive a special prayer for their underwear (Tsukamoto, 1976). This special prayer will be discussed later.

Both Anichi-ji and Kichiden-ji are closely linked to Genshin and his mother and share similar episodes that make their connections to pokkuri-dera. Although it is unclear which one became known as pokkuri-dera first, one common theme of these two temples as pokkuri-dera is Genshin’s prayer that focused on the cleanness of his mother’s body and clothing during the last period of her life. The origin of Genshin’s prayer for his mother has its root in one of his teachings that people should abandon all the impurity and uncleanness in this world and generously long for going to Pure Land where Amida Buddha is (Tsukamoto, 1976). This was connected to the unclean image of being unable to take care of oneself with particular emphasis on being incontinent, which is referred to as tarenagashi in Japanese. Thus, the origin for the creation of the pokkuri-dera worship during Genshin’s period seems to have come from a strong wish that the worshippers had to avoid making themselves dirty from being incontinent, in order to be able to go to Pure Land.

There are other Buddhist temples that have recently become known as pokkuri-dera. According to Woss (1993), a connection between these temples and a pokkuri death was created with the help of the mass media. With the great advancement of the medical field and the improvement in social welfare systems for the elderly, Japanese have become able to live longer. At the same time, however, this has created a society with a growing number of elderly. As stated earlier, during the 1970s, the problems associated with the elderly population had gained significant interest among the Japanese (Tsukamoto, 1976; Woss, 1993). The major concerns about the increasing number of the elderly that were addressed during the 1970s include:

•an increasing number of demented elderly and bedridden elderly,
•an increasing demand for caregiving for the elderly, and
•an increasing number of nuclear families that have limited amounts of physical, psychological, financial, and spatial resources to care for the elderly.

In response to this a growing number of Japanese elderly started to wish for a pokkuri death so that they could avoid becoming burdens on their family members as well as society due to their long-term illness, dementia, or bedridden condition.

According to Woss (1993), a best-selling novel called “Kokotsu no hito [A man in ecstasy]” by Ariyoshi Sawako published in 1972 (which was a story of issues related to senility and old age) set fire to the problems that already existed but were not publicly dealt with in Japanese society. This novel immediately became a best-selling book, and accordingly the mass media started to cover the social problems associated with the increasing number of the elderly population (Woss, 1993). One of the issues taken up was pokkuri-dera. The mass media, particularly television programs, displayed Buddhist temples and identified them as pokkuri-dera if they had any connection to a pokkuri death (Woss, 1993).

One example of the newly identified pokkuri-dera is Kinryuzan Myotoku-ji on the Izu Peninsula (Tsukamoto, 1976; Woss, 1993). This temple of the Zen sect was originally known for offering benefits of health and strength for male family members as well as for preventing abdominal diseases, which the guardian deity Ususama provides. This deity exists in one of the buildings at this temple, called tousu which refers to a toilet in the Zen sect. In the tousu, there are two wooden boards that people are expected to straddle over and pray to Ususama for protection from genital diseases and of being incontinent. This special prayer is called omatagi. Although the elderly go into this particular building of the temple to perform omatagi to request good health for as long as possible, their prayer often implies that they can live out their lives without burdening others. A strong implication of their prayer is that they want to die without suffering from long-term illness so that their family members would not have to provide care for them such as helping them to the toilet and changing diapers. The media focused on this aspect of the prayer to create an association between this temple and a pokkuri death and to identify it as pokkuri-dera.

Thus, there are two types of pokkuri-dera in Japan.
One type is the traditional pokkuri-dera with a long history of offering a pokkuri-death, and the other is the one identified by the mass media as a reflection of the social problems in Japan. Since the 1970s, both types of pokkuri-dera have gained enormous popularity particularly among the elderly.

Prayers and Benefits
Each pokkuri-dera offers unique prayers that are mostly from its origin as pokkuri-dera. One example of such prayers is the prayer called Joue Kigan (a prayer of clean white clothing) offered at Anichi-ji (Tsukamoto, 1976). The Joue Kigan, which originated from the clean white clothing that Genshin put on his mother, is a set of three prayers offered at special times: The first prayer for being hale and hearty, and for a long life, the second prayer for exorcism, and the third prayer for avoidance of dirtying one’s private parts of the body until death even if the person becomes unable to take care of his or her own body. All of these prayers are believed to ultimately guide the recipients to an easy, peaceful death. The Joue Kigan is offered twice a month (the 10th and 18th) throughout a year (except August) at Anichi-ji. The 10th is the daily return of Genshin’s death day, and the 18th is that of his mother’s. On both days the temple offers all three prayers so that visitors can go to the one that they need. For each prayer, visitors are asked to bring either new underwear or a white cloth attached to a piece of paper that has their names, addresses, and age. After they receive a prayer together with their underwear or white cloth, they are asked to always keep it with themselves.

Another example of the prayers offered at pokkuri-dera is the prayer called Koshimaki Kitou (a prayer of kimono undergarment) at Kichiden-ji (Tsukamoto, 1976). This prayer is believed to lead its recipients to die without suffering from illnesses of the lower part of the body, particularly around the hips and the private parts, while enjoying their longevity. They bring their own underwear to the temple and receive the prayer that is offered everyday in front of the statue of Amida Buddha. They are encouraged to receive this prayer more than three times. On the 10th of each month, a special memorial service is offered for Genshin’s death day at this temple. Additionally, on this special day, visitors can also take a bath in the miraculous hot springs at this temple, which is believed to be effective for female disorders, rheumatism, neuralgia, and gastrointestinal disorders.

Despite a number of different prayers offered at each pokkuri-dera, one major commonly shared purpose of going to pokkuri-dera is to pray for a pokkuri death so as to not become a caregiving burden to family members.
In addition to this major purpose, there seem to be other purposes that are not necessarily directly expressed by pokkuri-dera visitors. According to Woss (1993), simply being at pokkuri-dera with other elderly visitors provides the elderly with feelings of spiritual consolation and companionship with those who are going through similar problems. A comment made by one of the informants in Traphgan’s study of aging and senility in Japan also suggests that the action of going to pokkuri-dera is one way for the elderly to participate in society and have a meaningful interaction and experience of society. It may give them a feeling of reassurance that they are still part of society.

Another purpose is the hope that pokkuri-dera, or rather a pokkuri death, provides the elderly. This hope is associated with the concept of rebirth in Buddhism. Woss (1993) explains that praying for a pokkuri death at pokkuri-dera gives the elderly the hope to be able to receive “quick rebirth in Amida’s paradise” (p. 200). Although this may be related to the fact that many of pokkuri-dera belong to Jodo-shu or Jodo Shin-shu sects of Pure Land Buddhism, the elderly seem to view this quick rebirth as a better, brighter future than the remaining future on earth (Woss, 1993). (snip)

Profits
One important aspect of pokkuri-dera worship is the financial rewards that have benefited these pokkuri temples. During the 1970s, many traditional and newly identified pokkuri-dera were widely introduced through the mass media and gained enormous popularity (Woss, 1993). Such popularity turned these impoverished temples into “prosperous financial enterprises” (Woss, 1993, p. 192).

One example of these pokkuri-dera is Myotoku-ji, introduced earlier as one of the newly identified pokkuri-dera. (snip)

Two models of dying in old age
There are two different models of dying that are thought to be ideal ways to die among Japanese elderly. One model is a pokkuri death, which has already been explained. Another model of dying in old age is rousui, which literally means to grow old and become infirm. (snip)

Elements of a good death
Idealization of a pokkuri death and rousui among the elderly has its root in the worldview of death in Japan that is influenced by Buddhism and Shinto. According to Long (2001), death was originally seen as a natural part of the life course and was accepted calmly as the transitional process of becoming an ancestor. Death was seen as “a continuity from living through dying” (Long, 2003, p. 66). Peaceful death as a personalized experience was still present. (snip)
- source : homepages.wmich.edu/~weinreic - Yumi Takahashi -

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- quote
"Pokkuri-Temples and Aging"
Fleur Wöss, 1993
Pokkuri-Dera in Japan___________________________________________

Pokkuri-dera have been in existence a long time in Japan. Some temples have a long history as pokkuri-dera, while others recently began to be identified as pokkuri-dera(Woss, 1993). Despite their long existence in Japan, pokkuri-dera had not received special attention from the Japanese elderly until the 1970s (Tsukamoto, 1976; Woss, 1993) . During the 1970s, there was rising interest in the social problems associated with the increasing number of the elderly in Japanese society. The majority of these problems were connected to concerns about caregiving for the elderly. Around this time, pokkuri-dera started to gain in popularity not among those who were concerned with providing care but among the elderly who would be receiving care.

Definition______________________________________________________

Woss (1993)defines pokkuri-dera as “temples where prayers for an easy death are, it is believed, likely to be granted” (p. 192). Pokkuri-dera are Buddhist temples, many of which belong to the Jodo-shu or Jodo Shinshu sects of Pure Land Buddhism (Woss, 1993). Among all the pokkuri-dera that exist throughout Japan, the most popular ones can be found in the areas of Nara and Kyoto (Woss, 1993). What makes pokkuri-dera unique compared to other Buddhist temples is the prayer for a pokkuri death that they offer.

The Japanese term “pokkuri” generally refers to a sudden change from one state to another (Niimura, 1998; Tsukamoto, 1976). When it is used with objects, it refers to a state in which an object suddenly breaks in a fragile way. Within the same context, the term pokkuri can also be used to refer to a state of dying that occurs suddenly and unexpectedly without suffering from long-term illness. Thus, as defined by Woss (1993)and Long (2003), a pokkuri death means to die suddenly, unexpectedly, and peacefully without having to suffer from prolonged illness and staying healthy until just before death takes place. This way of dying can be described as “just fall over dead as with a heart attack” (Long, 2001, p. 272) or “[s]uddenly, like when you get up and you’re brushing your teeth and you have a cerebral hemorrhage and die” (Long, 2003, p. 47). However, it should be noted that a pokkuri death should not be interpreted simply as stated above since there are complicated factors associated with it. These factors will be addressed later.

History_________________________________________________________

The desire for a pokkuri-death seems to have long existed among Japanese people as seen in one poem created in 1845 which reads “I wish to die, a sudden death with eyes, fixed on Mount Fuji” (Long, 2003, p. 47). Similarly, some pokkuri-dera have existed in Japan for a long time with a long history of granting a pokkuri death to those who come to pray. According to Woss (1993), those pokkuri-dera with a long history are often linked to a particular saint or holy person who is believed to have experienced a peaceful, sudden death at pokkuri-dera. A statue of Kannon, a bodhisattva associated with mercy, is also often found at pokkuri-dera (Traphgan, 2000). This particular Kannon at pokkuri-dera is often called Korori Kannon, in which the word korori shares a very similar meaning to pokkuri (Tsukamoto, 1976).

One example of such traditional pokkuri-dera is Anichi-ji in Nara prefecture (Tsukamoto, 1976). This temple is also known as a temple of Genshin, a Pure Land Buddhist saint. According to its history, when Genshin’s mother was nearing the end of her life, she was suffering from her illness that was believed to be caused by the devils’ evil spirits. He put new clean white clothing called joue on her and performed a prayer for her at this temple to be able to escape from any kind of devilishness that had been causing her suffering. With the help of his prayer, his mother’s suffering ceased and she was able to die peacefully at the age of 72. It is believed that she had a peaceful smile on her face when she died, as if she were experiencing an image of Pure Land in her mind. After her death, Genshin carved a wooden statue of Amida Buddha, which became the principal deity at this temple. This episode is believed to have created the temple’s connection to pokkuri-dera.

Another example of the traditional pokkuri-dera is Kichiden-ji in Nara prefecture (Tsukamoto, 1976; Woss, 1993). Similar to Anichi-ji, this temple is one of the most popular and most frequently visited pokkuri-dera. This temple is also associated with Genshin who is believed to be the founder of the temple. The episode of this temple is very similar to that of Anichi-ji. It is believed that his mother was able to die peacefully without suffering after he had offered a prayer for her koshimaki (kimono undergarment) in front of the statue of Amida Buddha at this temple (Tsukamoto, 1976; Woss, 1993). This wooden statue of Amida Buddha, the principal deity of this temple, is thought to have been carved by Genshin. With the association to koshimaki, this temple is often referred to Koshimaki-dera (Koshimaki-temple). The printed pamphlet of this temple states that people have continuously visited this temple for over 1,000 years to receive a special prayer for their underwear (Tsukamoto, 1976). This special prayer will be discussed later.

Both Anichi-ji and Kichiden-ji are closely linked to Genshin and his mother and share similar episodes that make their connections to pokkuri-dera. Although it is unclear which one became known as pokkuri-dera first, one common theme of these two temples as pokkuri-dera is Genshin’s prayer that focused on the cleanness of his mother’s body and clothing during the last period of her life. The origin of Genshin’s prayer for his mother has its root in one of his teachings that people should abandon all the impurity and uncleanness in this world and generously long for going to Pure Land where Amida Buddha is (Tsukamoto, 1976). This was connected to the unclean image of being unable to take care of oneself with particular emphasis on being incontinent, which is referred to as tarenagashi in Japanese. Thus, the origin for the creation of the pokkuri-dera worship during Genshin’s period seems to have come from a strong wish that the worshippers had to avoid making themselves dirty from being incontinent, in order to be able to go to Pure Land.

There are other Buddhist temples that have recently become known as pokkuri-dera. According to Woss (1993), a connection between these temples and a pokkuri death was created with the help of the mass media. With the great advancement of the medical field and the improvement in social welfare systems for the elderly, Japanese have become able to live longer. At the same time, however, this has created a society with a growing number of elderly. As stated earlier, during the 1970s, the problems associated with the elderly population had gained significant interest among the Japanese (Tsukamoto, 1976; Woss, 1993). The major concerns about the increasing number of the elderly that were addressed during the 1970s include:

an increasing number of demented elderly and bedridden elderly,
an increasing demand for caregiving for the elderly, and
an increasing number of nuclear families that have limited amounts of physical, psychological, financial, and spatial resources to care for the elderly.

In response to this a growing number of Japanese elderly started to wish for a pokkuri death so that they could avoid becoming burdens on their family members as well as society due to their long-term illness, dementia, or bedridden condition.

According to Woss (1993), a best-selling novel called “Kokotsu no hito [A man in ecstasy]” by Ariyoshi Sawako published in 1972 (which was a story of issues related to senility and old age) set fire to the problems that already existed but were not publicly dealt with in Japanese society. This novel immediately became a best-selling book, and accordingly the mass media started to cover the social problems associated with the increasing number of the elderly population (Woss, 1993). One of the issues taken up was pokkuri-dera. The mass media, particularly television programs, displayed Buddhist temples and identified them as pokkuri-dera if they had any connection to a pokkuri death (Woss, 1993).

One example of the newly identified pokkuri-dera is Kinryuzan Myotoku-ji on the Izu Peninsula (Tsukamoto, 1976; Woss, 1993). This temple of the Zen sect was originally known for offering benefits of health and strength for male family members as well as for preventing abdominal diseases, which the guardian deity Ususama provides. This deity exists in one of the buildings at this temple, called tousu which refers to a toilet in the Zen sect. In the tousu, there are two wooden boards that people are expected to straddle over and pray to Ususama for protection from genital diseases and of being incontinent. This special prayer is called omatagi. Although the elderly go into this particular building of the temple to perform omatagi to request good health for as long as possible, their prayer often implies that they can live out their lives without burdening others. A strong implication of their prayer is that they want to die without suffering from long-term illness so that their family members would not have to provide care for them such as helping them to the toilet and changing diapers. The media focused on this aspect of the prayer to create an association between this temple and a pokkuri death and to identify it as pokkuri-dera.

Thus, there are two types of pokkuri-dera in Japan. One type is the traditional pokkuri-dera with a long history of offering a pokkuri-death, and the other is the one identified by the mass media as a reflection of the social problems in Japan. Since the 1970s, both types of pokkuri-dera have gained enormous popularity particularly among the elderly.
- source : Fleur Wöss, 1993 .


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1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

jigoku no oni 地獄の鬼 demons of the Buddhist hell
densetsu 伝説 and their legends

https://gokurakuparadies.blogspot.jp/2017/04/jigoku-hell-demons-devils.html
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