koya 118 koya 114 koya 128 koya 150 koya 152 koya 120 koya 126 koya 129 koya 130 koya 148 koya 149 koya 119 koya 151 koya 153 koya 159 koya 155 koya 113 koya 147 koya 117 koya 156 koya 122 koya 157 koya 14511nov14. Koyasan, Japan.


    1. Red is a major color in Japanese mythology. It’s believed that when people dress the Buddhas in red, money are accruing merit, as well as garnering extra protection. From onmarkproductions: “According to Japanese folk belief, red is the color for expelling demons and illness. Rituals of spirit quelling were regularly undertaken by the Japanese court during the Asuka Period (522 – 645 AD) and centered on a red-colored fire deity. This early association between demons of disease and the color red was gradually turned upside-down — proper worship of the disease deity would bring life, but improper worship or neglect would result in death. In later centuries, the Japanese recommended that children with smallpox be clothed in red garments and that those caring for the sick also wear red. The Red-Equals-Sickness symbolism quickly gave way to a new dualism between evil and good, with red embodying both life-destroying and life-creating powers. As a result, the color red was dedicated not only to deities of sickness and demon quelling, but also to deities of healing, fertility, and childbirth. Jizō’s traditional roles are to save us from the torments/demons of hell, to bring fertility, to protect children, and to grant longevity — thus Jizō is often decked in red. For more on Japan’s “red” tradition, please see Color Red in Japanese Mythology. “

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