Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Japan revisited: My visit to a Buddist temple

So I got back two weeks ago, but I am only now back on a regular schedule. Well I still have a few pictures to share, stories to tell, and wacky observations to make.

On my last day we finished early on Friday afternoon so we had a few hours to walk around and got the opportunity to visit a Buddhist temple.  It was impressive how quiet it was (of course it was early Friday afternoon and no one else was around) and how large given how tight the rest of the city is.  I already mentioned how extremely small the side streets were.
This was the entrance.

What the picture above may not show well is that board contains paper which are prayers that are placed there and are supposed to raise to heaven.  (the previous sentence may in fact be totally incorrect.)

While we were there a ceremony was going on and I took this video.  I do not have the foggiest idea of what is going on but I did try and show the elaborate art on the ceiling.  I took the video trying to be as quiet as possible and didn't notice a huge rope hanging from a huge bell right next to me.  Thankfully I didn't knock into it.

Overall it was a great experience.  On an additional note the hotel had both a bible and a Buddhist bible(?).  (Sorry for my ignorance and I am actually interested in Buddhism.)  I still didn't see any ninjas, but as everyone reminds me they still might have been there!

1 comment:

Stephanie Barr said...

My understanding is that there's really not a single canonical holy text for Buddhism (though some groups venerate some of the many texts involved with Buddhism). It's also not a religion wholly separated from Hinduism and is connected in a way similar to Christianity's links to Judaism. I'm not enough of a scholar to comment on the veracity of such assertions.

I have also read and noted that Eastern cultures are comfortable combining their native religion/philosophies with Christianity in ways that many Western cultures would find disturbing. Many a devout Japanese, for example, would continue to follow traditions related to their Shinto roots and Buddhist philosophies. The mutual exclusivity many ascribe to Christianity is just not part and parcel with many of these other religions and they feel no conflict in absorbing and venerating both without issue.

What I'm saying is that I wouldn't be surprised if that were an otherwise Christian Bible with a Buddhist slant. But I'm speculating.

It's really a fascinating topic.