Six Ksitigarbhas of Yuigahama – Kamakura, Japan - Atlas Obscura

Six Ksitigarbhas of Yuigahama

These statues are dedicated to the damned souls of those executed centuries ago on the beautiful Yuigahama beach. 

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Yuigahama is one of Kamakura’s most popular hangouts, a scenic crescent-shaped beach flanked by mountainous headlands. It gets quite busy on weekends, with many families, couples, and tourists lounging about on the soft sand and soaking their feet in the calm waves.

Despite its peaceful atmosphere, the beach is also known as one of the spookiest spots in the city. During the medieval Kamakura period, it saw many bloody battles between feuding samurai clans and executions. It was also used as a major burial site, and over 4,000 human remains were excavated in archaeological digs between 1995 and 1997. Most likely, more remain buried beneath the beach.

Not far away from the beach, at a busy intersection stands a sextet of Jizō (Ksitigarbha) statues wearing blood-red bibs, dedicated to the damned spirits of the medieval criminals executed at Yuigahama, one for each of the “six sufferings” in Buddhism. Somewhat eerie but much revered, the Ksitigarbhas continue to receive prayers and flower offerings from many passing locals to this day.

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April 29, 2024

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