Home > Japanese Culture > Striding the center of the bridge! …at the Ikkyuu temple.

Striding the center of the bridge! …at the Ikkyuu temple.

Do you know the Japanese animation, “Ikkyuu-san”? It’s the comical but heartwarming story, in which Ikkyuu-san is pregnant with wit while his religious training.

Ikkyuu-san was actually not such a character in the real. He dedicated himself to Rinzai Zen sect and was known as his funny behavior opposed to traditional Buddhism styles.

For example, Bonzes, which are Buddhist priests, must shave their hair, not drink alcohol, and not do sex, however, he did as much forbidden things by Buddhism as possible because he criticized traditional Buddhism discipline. He thought it’s important to feel free, not to suppress myself.

I went to the Ikkyuuji temple which has his grave.

I was surprised with one thing. Ikkyuu-san a descendant of emperors. As a matter of fact, he is officially not recorded as the descendant of emperor because he was illegitimately born. The priest of this temple, also a curator, he told me that the Gokomatu emperor, who is Ikkyuu-san’s parent, didn’t want him to involve in political wars. At that time, Japan was divided by two emperors in Nanbokutyou era.

He’s a descendant of emperors…so surprisingly, this temple is under control by Imperial Household Agency (which is Kunaityo).

I took a few photos in this temple, so I’ll show you them.

The sound of silence…talks to me something…
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Japanese loves gardens like this…
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Ikkyuu-san in younger age, He probably said, “Don’t be haisty. Let’s take a break.” (I’m sure Only Japanese can follow this lines…hihihi)
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You can see the word “Kunaityou” written in Chinese character at the last line.
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Yoshimitsu Ashikaga, who was the third general in Muromachi era, orderd Ikkyuu-san to catch this tiger in the painting. Ikkyuu-san humbly said to Yoshimitsu, “I’ll get this tiger after you put it out of this painting.”
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This is a famous bridge and sign saying “kono hashi wataruna (means, Don’t go across the bridge.)”. In Japanese, “hashi” has many meanings, such as bridges, chopsticks, edge. We can find their differences with their Chiniese characters and accents. Take a look at the sign. It’s written in Hiragana, right? So you can interpret “hashi” as either “bridge”, “chopsticks”, or “edge”. Me? Ofcourse I walked across the center of the bridge, not the edge of it…as if Ikkyuu-san did.
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This is the opening song of Ikkyuu-san in animation. You can see the edge of the bridge and the tiger in painting I showed you above.

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