Toyo no Kuni and the Spring of Immortality

The water nearby the Oita Shimizudera Temple, that gushes down the mountain is reputed to be among the ‘top 15 waters of Toyo no Kuni‘ and to have the ‘power to confer immortality’. The waters are also touted to be good for curing ailments such stomach complaints and diabetes. It is said that the water quality has never changed since the Heian period, and that it still nourishes the arable lands below the spring.

大分 清水寺Oita Shimizu-dera, located in front of a forest of Castanopsis trees

The old Shimizudera Temple is located beside Hodai Temple, and on the Fudarakusan mountain (Oita prefecture). Belonging to the Soto sect of Buddhism, the temple is also called Shimizu Kannon Temple as it venerates as its principal deity, the Jyuichimen Sente Kannon (Source: Nippon-Kichi).

Toyo no Kuni means  which means Abundant Land

Toyo-no Kuni or Toyo Province (豊国)  was an ancient province of Japan, that was divided into Buzen and Bungo in 683, now the modern Ōita Prefecture and northeastern Fukuoka Prefecture. The ancient entity came under the control of the central government at the early stage, and was given to Unade to rule by Emperor Keikō, who also gave him the name Toyo-no-kuni-no-atai (Source: Toyo Province (Wikipedia).

In a similar fashion, water springs out from the rocky cliff in the west side of Wakamiya-hachiman-sha Shrine in Yufuin (Oita prefecture), which is also designated as one of “Toyo-no Kuni Famous Waters” in 1988. This is the head water of “Miyakawa”, a tribute of Oita River. The Shrine was founded in 823, when they “summoned” the god of Hachiman from the head shrine in Usa.

Wakamiya-hachiman-sha Shrine

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