Home > Japanese Culture > Thanks to the kids, I got interesting topics

Thanks to the kids, I got interesting topics

I wrote it before in my blog that I often visit temples and get signs called shuin(like signatures and stamps) in my shuin tyou book. Chita shikoku, a series of temples which a well known Buddhism priest visited long time ago, includes 98 temples for completion. I just got 29 temples’ shuin of them.

Nomadaibou(has its name ‘oomidouji‘ as the official name) is one of 98 temples I’m going to get their shuin. I had some photos and got interesting topics around the temple. This time, I’ll introduce them to you.

Chita peninsula, where I live in, is the place some old celebrities died. Yoshitomo Minamoto, who was the father of Yoshitune Minamoto and Yoritomo Minamoto, died in the peninsula. The Minamoto family once dominated Japan around 12th to 13th centuries. We called the dominance Kamakura shogunate. Nobutaka Oda, who was the third children of Nobunaga Oda, also died in the peninsula. Hideyoshi Toyotomi got on the throne in Japan after Nobunaga Oda died. The power struggle happened to Hideyoshi and the descendants of Nobunaga Oda. Nobutaka lost the wars for the power and cut his belly in the peninsula. These topics on both Yoshitomo and Nobutaka happened to around this Nobadaibou.

This is honden of Nomadaibou. People transfered some parts from the castle called hushimi momoyama jou(where Hideyoshi lived in his old days) to this place and built this honden.
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Did you remember that I wrote sekitei in Kyoto? This garden looks like it, doesn’t it? You can walk around the garden and this garden has sands from 88 series of temples of Chita shikoku in it.
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There are many omamoris selling at the stage. Omamori are one of Buddhism charms and you have to choose each omamori for your purposes correctly when buying, especially when you are going to gift them to someone else. Don’t buy and present someone else omamori for peaceful pregnancies when the lady is still single and desperate to marry. You’d better buy omamori for good marriage in that case.
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This is an omamori for your health. This would protect you from something unhealth if you bought it.
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This is the tomb of Yoshitomo Minamoto. You can see something wooden around the tomb. It is kodachi, literally means wooden swords. When Yoshitomo was about to die, he said, ‘You could have not killed me like this if I had had even a small and short sword(called kodachi) around me.’ So People visiting here devote such wooden boards to this tomb.
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This is the pond called chinoike(blooded pond). After people killed Yoshitomo, they cut his neck and washed it in this pond. With his blood, the pond turned its color into red. Even now, people say when something terrible for this country happens this pond’s color changes. The Buddhism priest of Nomadaibou uttered it happened again when we got hanshin awaji earthquake in kansai region in 1995.
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I have to thank these kids for their kind guide. They talked to me when I waited for my shuin tyou at the honden. They are elementary school students and have a class which they have to guide someone and explain the history of their town. As I wrote before, I am going to attend activities like them as guide. They gave me interesting stories above and chances to learn them. It is quite tough for such kids to talk to the adult and explain the history in detail. They seemed to study them enough and explained them to me well. I asked them to take their photo and got a permission to post it in this blog. I gave my card to them, which listed this blog’s URL. I’m so happy if they check this blog and this article. Thank you so much, guys.
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The kids told me that Nobutaka cut his belly (called seppuku) and threw his own bowel to the painting called kakejiku. Anyouin, which is one of 88 temples and next to Nomadaibou, preserves the kakejiku, the kids also told me it. I dropped by the temple. Unfortunately, the Buddhism priest told me that he forbids to exhibit it in public because it was an old artifact and quite a cursed thing. I got a chance to see the photo of it instead. ‘Can I take a photo of this photo? I’d like to post the photo in my blog for people from other countires.’ I asked it but he gently refused it. ‘Here it is, you can see the stain of blood around here. It is Nobutaka‘s. The letters beside the kakejiku are his final verse. Chanting his last verse, he cut his belly with this sword.’ The Buddhism priest explained the topic to me.

This is the photo of a big juzu, which is one of tools when in Buddhism rituals, such as funerals. Most of people in Japan have their own juzu(it’s not such a big one like this, usually 10 cm in diameter one) and bring it to the funerals and so on.
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While the priest brought the photo of kakejiku for me, I enjoyed taking photos of these cats. Very cute, aren’t they?
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  1. February 2, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Hi H.P. 🙂

    I personally don’t believe in good luck charms, but what you wrote about them is interesting.

    It seems as if they were very violent back then. I’ve read about the ritual suicide before. But the cutting of the neck and washing it in the water. Hmm.

    It’s nice to have kids talk about history, and even better when they tell you stuff that you probably didn’t know or didn’t remember. But it must be the right history. By that I mean, some people view it through their biases and motives. Like now, the issue between China and Japan concerning the Nanking incident.

    I love cats. The first kitten is adorable.

    Some things will remain a mystery until . . .

    • honeypotter
      February 4, 2010 at 12:08 am

      Hi, girlgeum! 🙂

      Yeah, there are many many many kinds of charms in temples and shrines. People in Japan, including me, tend to rely on such things at the important events, such as examinations. 🙂

      It’s a very happy time that kids gave me a lot of interesting topics. Hearing their stories, I thought I should post them in my blog. Instead of their talks, I also gave them another topic on the temple. I hope they would talk about it to other people.

      seppuku is one of deeds which is beyond foreigners’ comprehensions, I guess. Now, I start learning histories on the Pacific war, so I might write something about it. It might be too sensitive to do. 😦

      Oh, you like the first cat? I had difficulty taking her photo. She was so friendly that she got close to me when I aimed her with my camera. 🙂

  2. February 8, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    I guess all wars are too sensitive to write about.

    Have you heard of the movie Letters from Iwo Jima?

    • honeypotter
      February 12, 2010 at 11:36 pm

      “Letters from Iwo Jima”, I haven’t had chances to watch it yet. I read a book on the Public war and a topic about Iwo Jima recently. I’ll check it soon. 🙂

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