Friday, October 26, 2012

Three (+2) Wise Monkeys, Suma-dera, Kobe

The three wise monkeys are called sanzaru (san = 3, saru = monkey) or sanbiki no saru. They represent the principle "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" and are related to the three vajras in the Tibetan Buddhism.

Sumadera temple of the Shingon Buddhism sect was founded in 886. It is one of my favourite places in Kobe. I noticed five monkeys there.




Mizaru, covering its eyes, sees no evil.




Kikazaru, covering its ears, hears no evil.




The statues can actually move their hands up and down.




Iwazaru, covering its mouth, speaks no evil.






Mite gozaru - please look at this.






Okora-zaru - don't get angry.






This is a three-monkey figurine I bought in India. In the background, a Japanese hankie with autumn chrysanthemum pattern.




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