44  Ishiyakushi "Ishiyakushi-ji Temple"

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Officially, this temple is called Takatomiyama Ruriko-in Ishiyakushi-ji. Legend has it that the temple got its name from the presence there of an image of Yakushi, the Healing Buddha, carved into a rock by Kukai (774-835), a celebrated Buddhist priest also known as Kobo Daishi. A farming village nestles in the bosom of mountains depicted in gradations of three different tints ? indigo blue, black and green. In this landscape, the temple stands quietly among the trees. Two men carrying bundles hurry along the road leading to the temple gateway while farmers work in a dry rice field dotted with stacks of straw. These human figures, meticulously depicted, eloquently portray the idyllic aspect of rural life.