Oshima or Ojima is a small pine covered island in the Matshushima prefecture in Japan. Once a meditation retreat for Zen (Chen) Buddhist Monks, it is now a walking tourist destination. It is accessible by a walking bridge from the main land called Togetsukyo Bridge. The walking paths through the area are generally quiet and somewhat secluded. They afford not only walking meditation but also sitting or kneeling meditation at many of the different Buddhist shrines throughout the island. These shrines range from statues and buildings to specially placed rocks, small caves, and grottos. Once said to contain 108 meditation caves, only 50 remain. Small pagodas called gorinto are also located inside the caves, along with the numerous posthumous Buddhist names of monks that are carved into the cave walls. These are the remains, which are dimly-lit even today, of the temple referred to as the “inner sanctuary” where a Buddhist priest recited 6,000 fascicles of the Lotus Sutra over the course of twelve long years of aesthetic practice.
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