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  • Thumbnail for Ikuta Jinja - Shrine souveniers and amulets
    Ikuta Jinja - Shrine souveniers and amulets

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Seated Jizo with children
    Seated Jizo with children

    Jizo comes in many forms. This newer statue has him seated in a traditional meditation posture. He holds the children, who are the timeless objects of his vast mercy. The visual contrast here between the clean stone of the new Jizo image and the moss-covered worn stone lantern is one of the charms of this Okunoin trail. Centuries of devotion merge into one another. Our great grandchildren will see this Jizo with its own moss.

  • Thumbnail for Minatogawa Jinja - Plaque describing historical origins of the shrine
    Minatogawa Jinja - Plaque describing historical origins of the shrine

    This plaque tells of the founding of Minatogawa Shrine. It notes that the shrine was created by order of the Meiji Emperor in 1868 in honor of Kusunoki Masanari, who died here in 1336 along with fifteen of his family members, all of whom committed suicide.

  • Thumbnail for Grave with torii
    Grave with torii

    This old grave site has a large traditional stone and the space is nicely framed by a Shinto torii. This kind of complex shows how Buddhist and Shinto forms merge easily in Japanese sensibility.

  • Thumbnail for Minatogawa Jinja - Cast statue of Kusunoki
    Minatogawa Jinja - Cast statue of Kusunoki

    This image of Kusunoki in full warrior regalia on a horse is priced at 80,000 yen (roughly $600).

  • Thumbnail for Statue along path just before mausoleum
    Statue along path just before mausoleum

    This is the statue to the right of the path visible in cocrejpn0193.

  • Thumbnail for Minatogawa Jinja - Main shrine hall from a distance
    Minatogawa Jinja - Main shrine hall from a distance

    The two large lanterns flanking the approach are noteworthy.

  • Thumbnail for View of the bathing statues from the Tamagawa bridge
  • Thumbnail for Prayer strips in Tamagawa
    Prayer strips in Tamagawa

    From the bridge over the Tamagawa stream that leads to Kobo Daishi's mausoleum one can see these wooden strips suspended above the stream so that the current washes across the bottom of the strips. On each strip is written the name of someone deceased, and the pure waters of this stream are said to purify their spirits wherever they may be in their afterlife journey.

  • Thumbnail for Shrine to local Kami in Garan
    Shrine to local Kami in Garan

    This Shinto-style shrine stands in the heart of the Garan complex and reflects the importance of the traditions of worship dedicated to the "local" deity of the mountain. It appears that Kukai revered these "kami" deeply and this reverence continues via regular rituals today.

  • Thumbnail for The Miedo Hall in the Garan
    The Miedo Hall in the Garan

    The Miedo, meaning "Hall of the Honorable Portrait," houses an ancient portrait of Kukai, Koyasan's ninth century founder, said to have been painted by his disciple.

  • Thumbnail for Engraved calligraphy
    Engraved calligraphy

    This stone along the Okunoin trail, which reads "great compassion," was created from the calligraphy of someone named Tejima, who may well have been a famous calligrapher.

  • Thumbnail for Temple with cars
    Temple with cars

    This is the front gate at one of the many temples in Koyasan. Centuries ago there may have been horsecarts or rickshaws inside the courtyard but today we see only cars.

  • Thumbnail for Stairs to Kobo Daishi's mausoleum
    Stairs to Kobo Daishi's mausoleum

    This is the view of the mausoleum from the near side of the Tamagawa bridge.

  • Thumbnail for Temple gate
    Temple gate

    This is one of the more imposing old gates on the main street in Koyasan.

  • Thumbnail for Kobo Daishi's shrine
  • Thumbnail for Kongobuji temple
  • Thumbnail for Bronze statues of Jizo and other deities
    Bronze statues of Jizo and other deities

    Near the main shrine at Okunoin people stop to pray before, and pour water over, these Buddhist images.

  • Thumbnail for Mound of Jizo statues
    Mound of Jizo statues

    This monument is made of thousands of small statues of the deity Jizo, who specializes in helping the souls of children who died prematurely.

  • Thumbnail for National Museum complex
    National Museum complex

    Built in 1958 on the eastern edge of tiananmen Square, the 69,000 sq. m. National Museum Building (Bowuguan daxia) houses both the Museum of Chinese History (Zhongguo lishi bowuguan) and the Museum of the Chinese Revolution (Zhongguo geming bowuguan).

  • Thumbnail for Alley scene
    Alley scene

    Haidian district residents on a narrow street lined with pre-1949 era brick structures.

  • Thumbnail for An afternoon at the Imperial Palace
    An afternoon at the Imperial Palace

    An elderly man rests with his grandson on the steps approaching the Gate of Supreme Harmony (Taihemen) in the Forbidden City

  • Thumbnail for Billboard painted over
    Billboard painted over

    A worker paints over a billboard urging onlookers to build the socialist economy

  • Thumbnail for Asia Beverages billboard
    Asia Beverages billboard

    Portion of a colorful neon billboard for a beverage wholesaling company.

  • Thumbnail for Bicycle repair shop
    Bicycle repair shop

    Inner tubes lie piled on the eaves of a humble Beijing bicycle repair shop