For over a thousand years, up until the late 19th century, many of the abbots of this temple set out to sea on a small rudderless boat when they turned 60 years old. This practice was called 'Fudaraku Tōkai', and is one of the 'Shashin Gyo' trainings in which priests performed an act of self-sacrifice for the purpose of human salvation. People entrusted the priests to carry their prayers for happiness and enlightenment to Fudaraku (Potala in Sanskrit) Island, Kannon’s Paradise, which was said to lie somewhere off the southern coast. There is a replica of the boat housed in a special pavilion at the temple which shows the boat to have been built as a sailing shrine, surrounded by red shrine fences and a torii gate like you can see at any shrine. The priests were given token provisions and pushed out to see from the shoreline that is about hundred meters directly in front of the temple. The temple name translates as "Mt Potala," Kannon’s Paradise.
Courtesy of Wikimedia

Courtesy of Nachi Town Hall
Photo courtesy of Nachi Town Hall

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