No. 76: Wanfu Temple, Fuqing, Fujian

(This article was published in the Shenzhen Daily on October 21, 2013.)

The seven pagodas (塔) are at the south end of the compound at
Wanfu Temple (万福寺) in tropical Fuqing, Fujian (福建, 福清市).
October 27, 2011 - Finishing up in Fuzhou, I would move to Putian to see several more temples. There was, however, one located in Fuqing, between the two cities, that I would stop and see on the way.

It took some doing. I left the highway bus in a place that I guessed might be near the temple. A kind bus conductor helped me figure out what to do, and I boarded a local bus to go a few more kilometers, where I was unceremoniously dropped at a small side-road and told "It's thataway."

How far it was, or how to get there, I had not a clue.

So I started walking, asking again and again on the way, "Is the temple this way?" Finally, to my relief (and surprise!) after about an hour a large car honked behind me and pulled over, and a family of four stopped to pick me up and drive me to the gates.

And so I arrived at Wanfu ("Unlimited Fortune") Temple on Huangbo Mountain, about six kilometers from where the bus had dropped me.

Founded by Huangbo Xiyun (died c. 850), this smallish, rebuilt temple holds a significant place in Sino-Japanese Buddhist relations. Because in 1654 Huangbo Xiyun's 33rd successor as abbot, the Linji master Yinyuan Longqi went to Japan, and in 1661 founded a temple at Uji, south of Kyoto, called Obaku San Mampukuji--the Japanese pronunciation of the characters used to write Huangbo Shan Wanfu Si.

In addition to Linji (Rinzai) and Caodong (Soto), Obaku San is a third sect of Chan (Zen) in Japan, and Mampukuji is the headquarters of its 420 sub-temples. I have been there, too; the statues and layout are in the same style as we see in Chinese temples today.

Fortunately for me, the same family--the only other visitors I saw while I was at the temple--met me at the gate and drove me back to the National Highway, where I flagged down an onward bus to Putian.

GPS Info:
  • 25.64029, 119.25686



More pictures can be found here.

A Japanese-style Guanyin (Kannon) at Wanfu Temple, Fuqing
Exterior of the Memorial Hall to Yinyuan, Chinese Chan missionary to Japan
Statue of Yinyuan inside the Hall, paid for by a Japanese donor
Grave markers at the temple are similar to those in Japanese cemeteries

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