Okunoin stone prayer wheel 2018

Okunoin stone prayer wheel

This is a stone prayer wheel located in Okunoin Cemetery.

There are similar stone prayer wheels in many temples in Japan, such as the much newer one at Shitennōji Temple (四天王寺),  in Osaka.

In this new “updated” version you can see a sutra prayer carved into the stone wheel.

By rotating it one full turn a believer earns the same merit as chanting it once.

This is not just being lazy!  It is a physical act symbolizing the turning of the wheel of life.  Seeing it come back around.  Learning to understand that the prayer wheel and life can turn endlessly, unless… we transcend the cycle (circle).

The  the prayer wheel in Okunoin is gives the location of

大阪西長堀 Osaka Nishi Nagahori

It also gives the name of 作次郎 Sakujiro

as the donor / almsgiver 施主

The stone marker next to it has


Commemorative stone honoring the visiting of “One hundred times a month” for

榮次郎 Eijiro

Red-billed leiothrix Birds Koyasan

Red-billed leiothrix

Peking robin

Scientific name: (学名) Leiothrix lutea

Modern Latin, from Greek leios ‘smooth’ + thrix ‘hair’

lutea  “yellow”

相思鳥  mutual affection    ソウシチョウ

It is a small olive-grey babbler, with a forked tail, (which I didn’t see).  Its’ bright red bill and pink feet are highly distinctive.  It has a soft yellow throat fading, blending into an orange breast. One of the pair I saw had red over yellow wing markings.

It is cited as an invasive species, but not verified to any substantial degree.  Considering the many similar bird species Japan and China share.  It seems much more likely to me that it is native to both countries as are innumerable other bird species.  Disclaimer: I am not an ornithologist.

According to one source its’ song is long and complex, a rather rapid, fluty warble of up to 15 notes.  I observed and recorded what appeared to be a pair.  I wasn’t able to distinguish if what I heard was their song or other birds nearby.  Chalk it up to not enough field time, not enough time with the birds…yet

卵茸 Egg Mushroom タマゴタケ


卵茸 Egg Mushroom タマゴタケ

Amanita caesareoides

Caesar’s mushroom

“Asian Vermilion Slender Caesar”

According to some it is one of the most desirable edible mycorrhizal mushrooms.

From the genus name, from Ancient Greek ἀμανίτης (amanítēs), mushrooms.

I found this hiding under a Hinoki bough near the top of Yoryuzan on the Koya Sanzan trail.  The color jumped from the forest floor.

This species is assigned to stirps Hemibapha.  It is the species commonly called  A. hemibapha (Berk. & Broome) Sacc. in Japan, Korea and other countries of northeastern Asia.

Amanita caesareoides is very similar to Amanita jacksonii Pomerl. of eastern North America including Mexico.


Koyasan Typhoon 高野山台風

The Western Stupa in the Danjo Garan after typhoon.

壇上伽藍の西塔 台風の後

Please be very careful!


It may be cleaned, but if you look up there are many branches as big as normal trees.

Some of them may very well come down at any time.




The Okunoin cemetary had major damage.

It will take some time to repair.



Goodbye old friend.