Subject:Re: Kinzan puzzle
Posted By: Bill H Thu, Feb 27, 2020
Martin, I'm unsure if this is relevant but offer it as a possible answer to the puzzlement.
The first character of the mark may be a seal-script form of the Chinese character "皈", pronounced "gui" in mandarin (please note that I found no comparative seal script version of this character in my handbook but extrapolated its potential relevance from other characters containing the same elements and studied separately). "皈" is used by Buddhists to describe one who has found refuge or a home in the Buddha or Buddhism. It further serves as a Buddhist variant of the Chinese character "歸" (also "gui") and--presumptively--its Japanese variant "帰" (ki), meaning "a homecoming", "to return", "to restore" and "to send back".
When I Googled "帰錦山堂" (Ki Nishikiyama Do}, I got a hit on the following information on the Kato Shrine, machine-translated from the link below:
"Enshrined here are Katō Kiyomasa, Ōki Kaneyoshi and Kin.
Once named ”Nishikiyama Shrine”, it was built within Kumamoto Castle premises at the order of the government to separate Buddhism and Shintoism in 1871. Then, it was eventually relocated in 1874 to Kyomachi, Kumamoto City; since the castle property had been acquired by the Japanese Army.
The present day Kato Shrine was finally rebuilt on January 23rd, 1962; at the 2-1 Honmaru, Chuo-ku, Kumamoto City address."
So if there's any validity to my findings, this plate may have something to do with the shrine as originally named or someone enshrined there. I should add that the term used for the shrine is "神社" (jinja) and not the Chinese "堂" (tang - means "Shrine" in the Buddhist context) Hope my transliteration is good.
For what it's worth,
URL Title :Kato Shrine