Manji-no Sekibutsu is a stone Buddha statue a short walk away from Suwa’s Harumiya shrine. The legend has it that in 1657 the third daimyo of Takashima domain commissioned a stone torii gate to be constructed for the Harumiya shrine. The masons found a big stone nearby and wanted to use it, but when they put their chisels to it the stone started to bleed – the workers stopped at once, found another stone to use for the gate, and from this one carved an image of Buddha Amida. There is an inscription on the statue saying that it was completed in the third year of Manji era – hence the name.
Interesting fact: there is a novel titled “Manji-no Sekibutsu” by popular Japanese writer Nitta Jiro, where the story is based on the assumption that the Buddha’s head came to Japan from Easter Island.
The Buddha was okay, but frankly, I enjoyed the walk more.
This was the end of my sightseeing day. The sun was still out, but I still had a 1.5 hour drive to Kiso valley ahead of me and I wanted to cover as much distance as I could before dark, so I bid my farewell to Suwa a bit early. Until next time (because there’s so much more yet to see in this beautiful area).