Konzō-ji (金倉寺), is a very cute small temple from the Shikoku Pilgrimage’s 88 Temples. It is the 76th one, that is the one following the famous Zentsū-ji.
It is also located in the city of Zentsūji, about three kilometers away from its predecessor.
At first sight, and especially if you’ve just visited the 75th temple, Konzō-ji is not very impressive and may even feel like a let down. At first sight only.
It actually houses a few very interesting things, starting with a room where one can see the representation of each one of the 88 temples main god. As often, here and there on Shikoku, a way to “do” the pilgrimage for those who can’t actually do it. One prayer in front of each god and the pilgrimage is done. Also as often in Buddhist temples, pictures are not aloud indoors so I unfortunately can’t show you this room. You’ll have to go see it by yourselves.
Another detail I really liked in Konzō-ji are the various statues. They are quite numerous for such a small temple and they’re all in very different styles. This time, I have pictures to show you.
First, the two Niō who, for once, are not protected by wire netting, which means, it is for once possible to take decent pictures of them:
Note that they don’t carry any arm or weapon. I could be wrong, but I think that it’s pretty rare.
This may or may not be Kūkai (although I have doubts, especially because his Kongō-zu, his pilgrim walking stick, seems a bit too simple). Whoever the identity of the person what is interesting with this statue is what it carries in its left hand. Do you see it?
So, as you can see, Konzō-ji may not be an amazing temple, but it’s not devoid of interest either, if only for its statues.