Photo taken of Tiananmen [Gate of Heavenly Peace] in Beijing showing image of Chiang Kai-shek hung in position where Mao Zedong's portrait now hangs. While both leaders represented revolutionary movements determined to break with China's imperial past, both also laid claim to the central symbolic space from which ancient imperial power emanated.
On the rooftop were the green vegetables drying in the sun.â€ 
This is the stairway leading to the main entrance to the temple. One arrives here from the Kintetsu Hasedera Station. Unless the weather is very inclement, it is best to walk from the station about 20 to 30 minutes through the streets of this traditional temple town where there are many small shops and places to stop for a meal or a snack.<br>Hasedera dates from the earliest period of Japanese Buddhism and has maintained a long affiliation with the Shingon school. It was founded in 686 by Domyo, and the central, larger-than-life eleven-headed statue of Kannon dates from 727. It is a sprawling and beautiful complex.
The folks dressed in white are pilgrims to the temple who commonly carry a staff that symbolizes the eternal copresence of the founder of the Shingon School, the great ninth century saint Kobo Daishi (also known as Kukai). So real is his presence believed to be that written on the back of their white coats is 1ctwo of us, practicing together. 1d
Copies of scriptures hand-scribed by the faithful are stored in this hall. Many short, and sometimes long, Buddhist texts are copied as part of a practice that accumulates merit. The Heart Sutra (Hannya Shingyo) is a one-page text widely copied throughout Buddhist East Asia. This merit is often dedicated to a deceased or ill loved-one with the hope that they fare well.
This is a view of the Hasedera temple, on the hill, from a bridge leading to a shrine dedicated to the protecting deity of the temple.
This hall enshrines a portrait of the founder of the Shingon school of Japanese Buddhism, Kobo Daishi (Kukai).
This banner advertises an upcoming festival, on July 15th, that will feature the lighting of a thousand lanterns, the rope circle through which one may walk (chinuwa kuguri), and a purification rite aimed at "countering obstacles, eliminating illness and vanquishing troubles."
This large and famous shrine is just uphill from the main shopping area of Sannomiya in downtown Kobe. Its quiet grounds present a great contrast to the thriving cosmopolitan center just outside the gate. Many Japanese shrines preserve some of the only undeveloped land and large trees in urban areas.
Like many graves, the main stone here has the geometric shapes marking Buddhist symbolism but the surrounding structures are clearly Shinto toriis. This natural blending of features of both traditions was exceedingly common in premodern Japan.
This shrine shop has posted above the left-hand side of the counter a chart indicating unlucky years (yakudoshi) when one might most feel the need for an amulet (o-mamori) or two.
At this building within the Hasedera complex, visitors can purchase amulets (o-mamori) and various memorablia. Here too pilgrims can receive a large stamp for placement in their "stamp book" which documents their visits to many holy places.
The main shrine at Hasedera is comprised of two buildings. To the left is a larger structure (cocrejpn0061) adjacent to which on the right is this smaller one.
A view through the gate of one of the larger sub-temples within the Hasedera complex.
Here you can see the small shrine to the right that is also part of the compound.
View of five-layered pagoda from balcony of main hall.
This young woman works in a stall that sells various types of amulets (o-mamori). Many Japanese visitors will purchase one when they visit a major shrine such as Ikuta Jinja. They will often keep it near them until their next visit (and purchase), in places such as in their purse, tied onto a back pack, or hanging from a car mirror.
One of thousands of statues of Jizo, the merciful deity who is commonly entreated to assist children who have died young, especially even prior to birth. These statues are often dressed in caps and aprons. This clothing is sometimes placed there by a bereaved mother, or sometimes by any warm-hearted person who happens to be fond of keeping little Jizo neatly dressed.
The space beside the pathway is often filled with a vast collection of devotional pieces likely placed by different people centuries apart. The scenery weaves a tale of religious sentiment right into the very fabric of the forest.
This ema, signed by a man and a woman with different last names, says, "May the two of us get along well this year." Appended to the left is also a note saying, "Please also watch over littleTaro!!"
The path from Ichinohashi to Okunoin winds through massive trees, like the one on the left, and is lit by stone lanterns.
This is the view from the place where most visitors stop to pray. One pulls the rope visible to the right and bows.