Wasp and Urinal

The setting for the video is near the doorway to a home located along the side of a mountain in central Japan. The home is now empty but in the past served as the residence for a priest who serviced an adjacent Buddhist temple. The only access to this location is via a steep and narrow mountain trail. The trail passes directly through the temple grounds and past the front door of the home. I filmed this scene while passing along towards the summit of the mountain.

Shinto is one of the two major religions of Japan (the other is Buddhism).  Shinto is often considered to be the native religion of Japan, and is as old as Japan itself.  The name Shinto means “the way of the gods.”  Shinto is a pantheistic religion, in which many thousands of major and minor gods are thought to exist.  The Japanese have built thousands of shrines (jinja) throughout the country to honor and worship these gods.  Some shrines are huge and are devoted to important deities.  Other shrines are small and may be easily missed when strolling along roads in the countryside.

Shinto gods are called kamiKami are thought to have influence on human affairs, and for this reason many Japanese make regular pilgrimage to community shrines in order to offer prayers to local kami.  The act of prayer involves approaching the shrine structure, passing through the gate-like torii, cleansing the hands and mouth with water and possibly ascending stairs to the main entrance of the shrine.  Usually without entering the shrine the worshipper will throw some coins into a stone or wooden collection box and then rattle the suzu bell which is at the top of a long hemp rope.  The worshiper grabs hold of the rope and shakes it back and forth causing the copper bell at the top to rattle.  This is thought to get the attention of the shrine god.  The worshipper then bows twice, claps his or her hands twice and then bows again.  In addition, the worshipper may clasp their hands together in silent prayer.  Shintoism and Buddhism have managed to find a comfortable coexistence in Japan.  Evidence of this harmonious relationship is found in the fact that that most Japanese are married in a Shinto shrine, but buried by a Buddhist priest.

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Japan Buddhis Temple Backdoor

This Japanese Buddhist temple is perched upon the slope of a steep mountain in central Japan. A trail winds up from the valley below to the temple before passing behind the sanctuary and through the courtyard of an empty priest’s residence. My hike this day brought me down the mountain and thus I approached the temple from behind and was able to enjoy the curious experience of entering the temple via the back door.

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Welcome to the the Japan Shrine and Temples blog. Exploring Japan’s spiritual infrastructure.

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http://www.youtube.com/user/ShrinesandTemples

Please visit our blog at the following URL:
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Buddhist Priest Graves

Welcome to the the Japan Shrine and Temples blog. Exploring Japan’s spiritual infrastructure.

Find us on YouTube at the following URL:
http://www.youtuSalesio User be.com/user/ShrinesandTemples

Please visit our blog at the following URL:
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Story in the Details

The history of two old stone Buddhist temple lanterns is revealed. Stone lanterns (ishidoro in Japanese) are used in gardens and at temples to provide illumination and as objects of decoration which heighten and refine the garden atmosphere. Ishidoro are perhaps one of the most famous and easily recognized objects of the traditional Japanese outdoor setting. The pair of large stone ishidoro seen in this video stand before the sanctuary of a small Buddhist temple in the mountains of central Japan, dedicated to the Kannon Bodhisattva. The lanterns appear to have been made for this temple though with a little examination we can learn of their true history and pedigree with one of Japans most famous Shinto shrines. Use the link below to see our tour of the shrine where these lanterns came from.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PR9U65FzXNM

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Welcome to the the Japan Shrine and Temples blog. Exploring Japan’s spiritual infrastructure.

Find us on YouTube at the following URL:
http://www.youtube.com/user/ShrinesandTemples

Please visit our blog at the following URL:
https://shrinesandtemples.wordpress.com

Follow us on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/#!/ShrinesTemples

Interested in talking with others about Japan?
Please visit our forum at:http://softypapa.net