Wuzu Temple,
Huangmei (Huanggang), Hubei
(August 7, 2012)

(1) The colorful front of the main hall at Wuzu Temple, the "seat" of the Fifth Patriarch of Chan (Zen), where a significant part of the life-story of Huineng, the Sixth Patriarch, took place. (He's the one whose many sites I visited on Trip 17.)

(2) Inside, something funny: This temple had only 16 arhats (not uncommon in Tibet and Japan, but the main part of China usually has 18). So they've added two tiny figures (see the little gray one here) to bring the total up to 18.

(3) In contrast to the elephant I posted (and called "the coolest") at Yuquan Temple, this is one of the worst I've seen.

(4) Next to the usual "Island Guanyin," this 1000-armed 11-headed Guanyin was standing on the floor, as tho s/he had been replaced somewhere else.

(5) Is it just me, or doe the characters over this door look like they were carved by a child?

(6) Five halls were ranged side-by-side across a terrace behind the main hall, an unusual arrangement.

(7) There were newly-carved figures of the Judges of Hell and their attendants in the Dizang Hall.

(8) One hall was dedicated to "Shang Mu," the Taoist "Holy Mother." An unusual sight in a Buddhist temple.

(9) This is "my" Buddha, Vairocana, in a "Coming West" hall with numerous Buddha statues dedicated to those who have died.

(10) The cornice on the back of one of the halls was partially--and beautifully--painted. As I had climbed stairs up the hillside, it was at eye level.

(11) This is supposedly the place where the illiterate "barbarian" Huineng, the Sixth Patriarch, pounded rice.

(12) Here's Huineng, working away in a poster on the side of the main hall.

(13) Through this intimidating-looking gate were a lot of stairs, leading to...

(14) This delightfully run-down old hall is near the mountain's peak (see the boulders behind it?) There's a statue of the Fifth Patriarch inside, and an empty pagoda in front. I was told that his "relics" were here (and there's a "true body" hall with his effigy down below). I wonder where the relics are now?

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I had hoped to squeeze in a visit to the Fourth Patriarch's Temple, but I was lucky even to get to this one in the time allotted; out in the country, the transportation is slim, and I spent a lot of time negotiating with private drivers. Maybe I'll come back to Huangmei after I'm rich and famous. Or homeless.

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Last Updated August 20, 2019

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