Saturday, October 29, 2011

Broken (This week's Photo Hunt theme)

Don't bother to look for cracks in -- or broken bits from -- the statues and figurines in the above photos taken at Kamakura's Hasedera Temple (the top most one) and Kawagoe's Kitain Temple (the bottom two). Even if you do find them though, they're not the point of this Photo Hunt entry. Rather, it's the broken hearts and dreams that are behind each and every one of the smaller figurines in the pictures.

Although he is not the main deity worshiped in the Hasadera and Kitain Temples, there are areas in these sacred spaces devoted to Jizo Bodhisattva (aka Ojizi-Sama, Ksitigarbha, etc.). Of Indian origin (like Gautama Buddha himself), this bodhisattva is particularly revered among East Asian Buddhists -- and beloved in Japan, where he is popularly venerated as the guardian of unborn, aborted, miscarried or stillborn infants.

Put another way: every figurine in the photo represents people's unborn, aborted, miscarried or stillborn babies. Looking at them, it's not just their numbers that can overwhelm. For often placed amidst the cold stone or cement statuettes are stuffed toys, tiny shoes and other items associated with babyhood.

Since I don't want to leave readers of this entry's text all depressed, here's ending this entry with a link to a heartwarming Japanese fable entitled Ojizo-san, the The Grateful Statues. I do hope that you will click on that link and read the tale -- because, if nothing else, it will make you realize that generosity and the appreciation of it does cross borders and cultures. (And on a lighter note, please feel free to check out a cute Jizo statue and other kawaii elements of Japan in my previous blog entry!)


Liz said...

Beautiful take on the theme. Actually I was looking close to find the cracks. Haha.

Have a fabulous weekend.

Liz @ MLC

Carver said...

Very moving and poignant take on the theme.

YTSL said...

Hi Liz --

Did you look even though I told you not to? ;b

Hi Carver --

Thank you for appreciating. Hope you have a great weekend this week. :)

magiceye said...

beautiful concept wonderfully executed

Anonymous said...

a very moving post.

MaR said...

It breaks my I will check out your link. Beautiful and different take on the theme.


Gattina said...

that was a very interesting post to read ! I learned something new. The story is really adorable.

Ruth said...

That's so sad, but maybe a comfort to the people who visit.

YTSL said...

Hi magiceye --

Thank you!

Hi ewok1993 --

I'm glad the post touched you.

Hi Mar --

Both the bottom links will hopefully bring your spirits up again.

Hi Gattina --

Am glad you like the Stone Statues story too. :)

Hi Ruth --

Yes, my hope -- and sense -- is that these statues make people who have suffered considerable losses feel better.

Lesley said...

What a nice story (in your link) I think these must provide much comfort to heal the brokenness of the parents.

Anonymous said...

As Carver has said, a poignant take on the theme.

Susan Demeter said...

Excellent take on the theme and I will be clicking on the link and reading the fable with my morning coffee. Your posts are always enlightening and educational. Thank you :)

Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, beautiful post. I am so thankful that you posted the link to that wonderful story. I loved it reading it. Such a beautiful message.

Thanks so much for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend.

Annie said...

Oh my, so sad but what a beautiful way to remember the lost ones. LOVE your photos!

LifeRamblings said...

really touching and thought-provoking article.

YTSL said...

Hi Lesley --

Let's hope indeed that our of sorrow, there is some sense of feeling consoled.

Hi bookmouse --

Thank you for feeling similarly to Carver.

Hi Sue --

You're welcome and hope you enjoyed reading the fable.

Hi Trekcapri --

Thank you for reading and appreciating. Hope you have a happy weekend too.

Hi Annie --

Glad you like the photos. And yeah, I do think that some things beautiful have come out of tragedy.

Hi Life Ramblings --

You mean my blog entry? If so, thank you very much. :)

peppylady (Dora) said...

Sort of sad. But a broken heart is part of life.

Coffee is on.

Suzy said...

Touching take on the theme. And the story was lovely too.

YTSL said...

Hi peppylady --

Your comments make me thing you're a very durable person! :b

Hi Suzy --

Thanks for checking out my entry and the story I linked to too. :)

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

every figurine in the photo represents people's unborn, aborted, miscarried or stillborn babies.

I say Amen to the parents broken hearts.

May I link you to my book blog?

YTSL said...

Hi Ann --

I initially wondered what you meant about your book blog because I thought you meant a blog about books in general. But now that I've seen what it is, I'm totally fine with your linking to this entry.

Hope visitors from your blog are heartened by this entry.

MyMaracas said...

Poignant and a bit overwhelming, seeing so many of those little statues.

CherryPie said...

Very interesting, thank you for sharing that :-)

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

Here, YTSL, I quoted part of your post. I could never make out what YTSL means, now, I got the first two letters.

Thanks for the idea for the theme.

YTSL said...

Hi MyMaracas --

I felt that way myself when visiting those sites.

Hi CherryPie --

You're welcome and thank you for looking and reading. :)

Hi again Ann --

Re YTSL: for those who don't realise, they're my initials. :)

Dragonstar said...

Heartbreaking, yes, but healing as well. The grieving families are able to share their unhappiness with others, and that helps.

YTSL said...

Hi Dragonstar --

I think you're right about the sights in the photos being both heartbreaking *and* healing.