Kiyomizu Magaibutsu

Kawabe (Minamikyushu), Kagoshima, Japan

Magaibutsu are Buddhist reliefs that have been carved into a cliff face. Seen here are some of the carvings in Kiyomizu (Sweet Water) Park, at the southern tip of Kyushu.

The three Kamakura-era medallions, high up on the cliff face, represent Fudo, Comet, and Yakushi. Two additional medallions, now weathered, represent Eclipse and Bishamon. The combination of deities has astronomical, astrological, and protective significance, in accord with the esoteric Buddhist (Tendai) affiliation of the shrine. Additional carvings include Amida (far right, in line with the medallions), stupas (bottom, center), and other Buddhist figures.