(456) 太山寺 本堂 [調べる]

Main hall of Taisan-ji temple
taisanji hondo1.jpgPic.taisanji hondo1
  Taisan-ji Temple is the 52nd one of Shikoku Pilgrimage of 88 temples. This is the main hall where the main images are enshrined. Honzon (principal object of worship at this temple) is Eleven-faced Kannon (Goddess of Mercy). The building was rebuilt in 1305 and now designated as a National Treasure. This main hall is one of the biggest wooden building in Japan. The white plaster mound under the building was typical of the Indian style. The plaster protects from dampness and keeps the building cool. It houses seven images of the eleven-faced Kannon which has been designated as an Important Cultural Properties by the Japanese government. All were donated by emperors. The one presented by Emperor Shomu, in the Nara Era, is placed in the center, and can only be seen once every sixty years. The three images placed on either side can be seen on October 17 every year.
taisanji hondo2.jpgPic. Taisanji hondo2taisanji_su3.jpg

(1) 厨子(ずし):神仏の像を安置する二枚とびらの堂の形のはこ
(2) 内陣(ないじん):寺院の本堂の奥にあって、神体や本尊を安置してある所
(3) 土壇(どだん):土で築いた壇

juichimen.jpgPic. Juichimen

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(455) 太山寺鐘楼堂 [調べる]

Bell tower in Taisan-ji temple
bell tower.jpgPic. Bell towertemple bell.jpg

  Rebuilt in 1655 it has wooden ‘skirt’ typical of1) 13th century temple architecture. The year 1383 is inscribed2) on the temple bell of the bell tower. On the first floor are three paintings depicting3) the Buddhist paradise (heaven) and hell. In the left side paradise scene you can see the Buddha Amida4) coming down to lead those who pray sincerely into paradise.
heaven.jpgPic. heaven

  In Japanese mythology, Enma-O or Enma Dai-O judges souls in Meido, the kingdom of the waiting dead. Those deemed5) too horrible are sent to hell. You can see Enma Dai-O, King of hell, in the center picture. Beside him, there is a special mirror which can project every moment during the lifetime of the dead standing in front of it. Enma Dai-O judges with the mirror if the dead were right-minded or not before its death.
enma.jpgPic. enma
(1) typical of:~の特色をよく示している
(2) inscribed:〔板・石などに文字を〕刻み込む、彫る
(3) depicting:〔絵・映像などで〕~を描写する[描く・表現する]
(4) Buddha Amida:阿弥陀仏
(5) deem:~だと判断する
hell1.jpgpic. Hell1


hell2.jpgPic. Hell2

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(454) Child marriage [調べる]

Child marriage
child marriage.jpg 

I belonged to Matsuyama silver chorus last year. When I was singing one of Japanese children’s songs, Akatombo meaning Red Dragonfly I found child marriage in its words of the third verse. It goes like十五で姐やは 嫁に行き お里のたよりも絶えはてたMy baby-sitter got married when she was 15, and even the news of her country home ceased completely. In Japan child marriage once existed.

I learned about child marriage in Kenya two years ago from my Kenyan friend. In Kenya more than 25% of girls get married before they are 18 years. This affect their education and their future.

I looked up child marriage on the internet and I knew it is fuelled by gender inequality, poverty, traditions, and insecurity.  The site says that globally, the rates of child marriage are slowly declining but progress isn't happening fast enough. In Japan according to the statistics, in 1899
(Meiji 32) 33.9% of girls get married before they were 19 years, and 26.1% in 1921 (Taisho 10). 

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