• Kyodo


Three Buddhist statues have disappeared from a temple in Shigaraki, Shiga Prefecture, in what police are treating as a theft, it was learned Sunday.

The temple, Senzenji, does not have a resident priest. Local residents reported the missing statues to police after noticing they were missing earlier this month as they were preparing for a festival.

According to local police and residents, the missing statues include one of an 11-faced bodhisattva Kannon measuring 1.2 meters in height. None of the three have any designation as cultural assets, but are traditionally revered by local residents as protectors of the neighborhood.

On Nov. 17, local residents came to the altar where the statues were kept to begin preparations for the festival, but they found the lock had been tampered with and the statues were gone. The last time the statues were confirmed to be there was in August, according to police.

The festival, which took place Saturday, made do with large photographs of the missing statues.

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