Name: Giant Nutmeg-yew of Fudouin (不動院のカヤ)
Type: Japanese Nutmeg-yew (Torreya nucifera)
Trunk Circumference: 5.5m
Age: >300 years
Location: 栃木県大田原市久野又 (36° 53′ 35″N 140° 08′ 43″E)
Date of Visit: 2011-5-21
Fudouin is a temple of the Chizan sect of Shingon Buddhism. It’s formal name is 明王山不動院大聖寺 (Myouousan Fudouin Taisei Temple), which is basically Mountain of the Wisdom Kings, Temple of the sage Acala the Immovable. The point is, you would think that it is dedicated to 不動明王 (Fudou-Myouou), the aforementioned Acala.
But once you arrive at the temple gate you can see a signpost that reads 八溝七福神霊場布袋尊 (Yamizo Shichifukujin Reijou Hotei-mikoto, basically Seven Lucky Gods of Fortune: Sacred Ground of Hotei), and also 那須三十三観音霊場第二番札所 (Nasu San-jyuu-san Kannon Reijou Dai-ni-ban Fudasho, Number 2 of the 33 Kannons of Nasu). Acala’s name is nowhere to be seen.
First, let us pay our respects at the temple, then let us visit the nutmeg-yew.
Giant nutmeg-yews are seen here and there from time to time, but this particular tree’s base is a lovely cone-shape. As the months and years pass, the grooves in the bark will become deeper, and the tree will gain a stronger, burlier appearance, I think.
The canopy makes a really lovely globular shape. This is a well-formed tree. The good is strong and healthy, too. I’d like to know this tree better.
I try to show you my Japan. Won’t you show us your Japan?