Some of you know that I’m on a new quest to visit some sites around the world where a feminine divinity is or has been worshipped/revered. I took advantage of the fact that Bill had some business in Japan to do some exploring of a few temples and shrines. Below are just some of my photos from our whole two-week trip. I’ll note the goddesses here and will write more about them on my camiostman.net blog in weeks to come.
Old friends from the Asia University America Program:
Bill with some of his former students.
These are the students from the AUAP 1988 pilot program!
My old pal, Koichi.
Dear friends Kakuei and Yayoi with their six-year-old, Koichiro, and the new baby, Shotaro.
Shotaro–our youngest Japanese friend. Only 18 days old here.
Before Bill retires, he says goodbye to good friends.
My solo trip to and around Nagoya:
The Taga Shrine, where Mizanami (mother of shinto Kami, Amaterasu, dwells).
We haven’t quite figured out what/who these figures depict. Anyone know?
The Chikubushima Island in the middle of Lake Biwa. This guy fights against your inner demons.
One image of the Benzaiten.
The Benzaiten is known as the goddess of all that flows: Music, literature, dance, etc. This is another image of her holding her instrument.
Shrine to the rice goddess in Ise City.
Temples around Tokyo
A Benzaiten in Ueno Park in the heart of Tokyo.
This goddess used to eat children until she repented. Now she is the protector of women and children.
She steals clothing from the dead at the gate to the underworld.
On my only run through Tokyo we found a Benzaiten temple, but she was locked inside, and I didn’t get to see her.
Dinner with Bill’s good friend, Norio, and his whole family. I’ve NEVER eaten so much sushi in one sitting!
Norio tries to help me figure out a picture of one of the goddesses.
Did I mention I fell crossing a train track and smashed up my leg. Ug!
Our visit to Hiroshima:
The bomb fell at 8:15 on August 6th.
They call this the Atomic Dome. It’s the only remaining building from before the bomb.
Hiroshima’s goddess of peace.
Ringing the peace bell in Hiroshima.
Miyajima—Japan’s most famous shrine resides here.
The gate (in the water) to the Itsukushima shrine.
There are tame dear all over Miyajima. Be careful though, they’ll eat your brochures.
There is a most famous Benzaiten statue on Miyajima Island, but she is in hiding except for her festival once a year (in June). This is outside her temple.
Some of the rules we needed to obey in our hotel in Hiroshima.
Back in Tokyo, we found a microbrewery near the Harajuku station.