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Authentic Relics of the Buddha in Japan for the Second Time

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As mentioned earlier, only once before in history has an authentic relic of the Buddha been brought to Japan. It was in July, 1900, when the king of Siam donated a sacred relic of the Buddha to the Buddhist society of Japan.
There was a second time the Buddha’s relic was brought over to Japan. On April 7, 1986, the president of Sri Lanka officially donated a relic of the Buddha to Japan. As noted in the official document, this relic is equivalent in value to the relic of the Buddha’s donated previously by the king of Siam. It had been previously enshrined at Bodhgaya, the place of Shakyamuni Buddha’s attainment of Enlightenment. (For details of the documents, see “Shugorei-no Keifu (Genealogy of Guardian Spirits” by Seiyu Kiriyama published by Hirakawa Shuppan, Inc.)

Agon Shu is strangely linked by fate to Buddha’s relics. Since over ten years ago, Buddha’s relics were donated to Agon Shu one right after another. In 1974, the five pieces of Buddha’s relics that were enshrined at the Daihonzan Temple in the Tokai Region since the early Meiji Era (1868 – 1912), were donated by a follower. (His ancestor of two generations ago had enshrined these relics, but as the resident Buddhist priest was negligent in his training, the relics were taken back and donated to Agon Shu.) Some of these relics are enshrined at Kurinto, the top of the (former) Tokai Main Center.

Since then, Buddha’s relics have been donated to Agon Shu one right after another almost every year. Among them, the Buddha’s relic donated in 1979 by the Sudas, the ruling family of Aizu, had an official document stating that Kobodaishi Kukai brought it over from China. Among the pieces of the relic was a golden piece of relic. While I have seen and worshipped nearly a hundred pieces of Buddha’s relics, I have never seen a relic like this one before. This one was quite different from the other relics.
Following this, Agon Shu received several pieces of Buddha’s relics from the Dalai Lama in March 1983. The official document by the government of the Dalai Lama states that they are the authentic remains of the Buddha. Following this, Agon Shu received the sacred remains of the Buddha from Sri Lanka on April 7, 1986.

As mentioned earlier, I have worshipped nearly a hundred pieces of the Buddha’s relics, but the Buddha’s relics received from the Dalai Lama and the president of Sri Lanka are unprecedented. They are quite different from the others. They are unmistakably Buddha’s relics. Among the Buddha’s relics brought over by Kobodaishi Kukai, the golden piece is really unique. It appears to be either a stone or bead, but at the same time it is neither a stone nor a bead and is quite magical. The reason I do not officially name this golden piece of relic an authentic Buddha’s relic is partly because it is difficult to determine its history and affirm its heirloom from a long time ago. However, I do truly believe that this golden piece of relic is the very Buddha’s relic that Kobodaishi Kukai brought over to Japan.