The five hundred disciples of Gautama the Buddha who attained enlightenment through liberating themselves from human desires and delusions are often depicted in paintings and statues in Japanese art and in Buddhist temples.
These arhats are revered for they are recognised as having freed themselves from the karmic wheel of human suffering and earthly lives.
At Reiganzenji Temple 零巌禅時 on Mount Iwatono, just outside of Kumamoto city on Kyushu island, Japan, there are five hundred arhats, La-Hán or gohyaku rakan 五百羅漢 who sit and form part of the path that lead into Reigando 零巌同, or Spirit Rock Cave, where Miyamoto Musashi wrote The Book of Five Rings 語輪書.
Each statue is distinct and carries its own individual expression, with no two form alike.
Reigando 零巌同 and its surrounding areas is said to hold special energy.
The water here is known to be very pure.
Water of the Reiganzenji Temple 零巌禅時.
Located in a pristine, mountainous area, Reiganzenji Temple 零巌禅時 is soaked in silence, solitude and serenity.
At the entrance of Reiganzenji Temple.
Visitors to Reiganzenji inscribe their hopes and prayers on these wooden spoons and leave them here at the temple.
As this is the place where the Sword Saint Miyamoto Musashi 宮本武蔵 lived and sat in meditation for two years to write The Book of Five Rings 語輪書, replicas of his swords as well as historical items relating to the Edo period are preserved and can be viewed in the temple grounds.
The temple grounds.
The path to Reigando is breathtaking.