Monday, 28 January 2013

The Grounds Of Kotokuin

Apart from the bronze Daibutsu in Kotokuin, there are other interesting sites to see at the temple ground. We didn't go about exploring much, due to the weather but what we did see was plenty interesting.
Such as this huge straw sandal or warazori; which was a gift from Matsuzaka Children's Club of Hitachi-Ota in Ibaraki Prefecture. It was woven and donated by the children in 1951, with the wish that "the Great Buddha will don them and walk around Japan, bringing happiness to the people". Since 1956, the Matsuzaka Children's Club has kept the tradition and continues to make the warazori and present them to Kotokuin.
Here, in the Kangetsu-do Hall (Moon viewing hall) is where a standing image of Kannon Bosatsu is housed. The hall is believed to be a part of the imperial palace of the Joseon dynasty in Korea. It was donated by Kisei Sugino in 1924 and it was moved from Sugino Mansion in Meguro, Tokyo to Kotokuin. 
As the temple is designated as the 23rd sacred place of the Kannon, a wooden Kannon statue that was said to have been made in late Edo period is enshrined inside.
Much can be read about the Kamakura Daibutsu and it's easy to look up for info on the Great Buddha plus its photos, but not much can be found (in English, at least) about the grounds of Kotokuin, such as the waka and haiku inscribed tablets, Lady Inada's cenotaph or even trees planted by the King, Queen and Prince of Siam when they did their pilgrimage to the temple.

I end this post with wakas and haikus inscribed on tablets in the temple ground :

Kamakura ya Mihotoke naredo Shakamuni wa Binan ni owasu Natsukodachi kana
Here in Kamakura, the sublime Buddha is of another world, but how like a handsome man he seems, adorned with the green of summer
Akiko Yosano (1878-1942)

Akitomoshi Tsukue no ueno Ikusanga
I face my desk, in soft autumn light -  mountains, rivers!
Nobuko Yoshiya (1896 - 1973)
 
Daibutsu no Fuyubi wa yama ni Utsuri keri
Great Buddha, the soft light of winter, shining on you, moves on to the mountains
Tatsuko Hoshino (1903 - 1984)

Haru no ame Kamakura no namo Yawaragite
The spring rain, melting the Kamakura, snow huts of the north, softer even the word - Kamakura
Kensai Iimuro (1883 - 1928)

Teradera no Kane no sayakeku Narihibiki Kamakurayama ni Akikaze no Mitsu
How clear the chimes resound, of the temple bells, the hills of Kamakura, filled with autumn winds!
Kunen Kaneko (1876 - 1951)

p.s. It's another happy day! Thaipusam! It's a Hindu festival celebrated during the tenth month of the Hindu calendar and is celebrated as a thanksgiving to Lord Muruga. A day of penance, this is the time when one can witness devotees perform ceremonial acts, parades and rituals such as carrying "kavadis" that are attached to their bodies by hooks and steel spikes. It's a sight to see!

24 comments:

  1. There's a little Jizō statue, too! ^^

    I've never explored Kamakura around the Big Buddha. I'm usually galloping past on my way to a hike in the hills. I should slow down a bit next time.

    That third poem by Tatsuko Hoshino is beautiful!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you should. Then, we'll have more stories, histories and juicy tidbits from you about the place. ;)

      I'm pretty stupid about poem and stuff. Care to dissect it for me? Pleassseee? ^^

      p.s. I bet you can walk the Fujisan Marathon faster than I "run" it. :)

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    2. I'm from Africa! What do I know about poems? :p

      (Actually, Africa has produced awesome writers and storytellers who follow the oral tradition.)

      Now that you have your new neon shoes, I very much doubt that even my zebra could out-run you! ^^

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    3. I'm waiting for MY zebra! :P

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  2. I got to get back and explore this place again. We saw some cool warazori at Sensoji in Tokyo.

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    1. Me too!

      Saw those at Sensoji too.

      Blogged about it way back : http://urutoranohihi.blogspot.com/2011/03/sensoji-illuminated.html

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  3. Thaipusam sounds very interesting. I would like to see it.
    Do you share it?

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    1. Errr no.

      I avoid Thaipusam procession. It's way too crowded. o.O

      But you can see some photos here : http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.478060175575355.105332.195277033853672&type=1

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    2. I see.I'm not good at crowd. Thanks for sharing.

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    3. Did you have a look at the photos in the link though? They are marvelous. :)

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  4. Able to buy a pair of straw sandal or warazori in KL? Spotted any shop selling? haha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahaha

      I will look for them for Bananaz. ;)

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  5. In Australia, we have the "big" everything, such as the Big Prawn, Big Banana, Big Pineapple. Believe it or not, they are tourist attractions. No Big sandals however.

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    1. Big sandal would fit just nice at... Bondi Beach? ;p

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  6. Hi! Nice post. I did not know such Waka and Haiku. Thank you for introducing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "I learnt it while "reseaching" about Kotokuin. :)

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  7. The huge straw sandal is really huge! Are they smelly? :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL

      Didn't get too near to smell. ;p

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  8. Interesting! Ive heard of haiku but never heard of waka :) I love it when a tradition is still kept alive in a community ..i wonder how long it takes for them to weave that sandal ..hope all is well out there. Im back at my home turf to be with my family .. a rather sad depressing time that Id rather be with people than to be alone on my own at home at this time ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What happened dearie?

      Take care. Hugs from here.

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    2. I lost my beloved mother in law to cancer :( im back in KL now and hubby got back from the UK last night ..and more tears came when he showed her photos and when he gave me something from her that she wanted me to keep i was inconsolable .. Thanks Lina ..hope you are well lama tak nampak you update

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    3. Oh dearie... my condolences to you and family.

      Take care. All of you.

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  9. Every time I see pictures and hear about Japanese temples I think about that great weight of culture, and it's a culture I know nothing about. As you say there does not seem to be a huge amount in English although there are some good Japanese blogs. There is no substitute for walking around with someone who knows, I guess. Sorry that the weather was bad though

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    Replies
    1. I agree. No substitute for walking at places with a knowledgeable guide.

      You hear that, Ru? ^^

      Weather wise... yeah, well. What can you do about it? It just give us an excuse to plan for another trip. ;)

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