Saturday, January 26, 2013

Knitted and Architecture You Like or Which is Special (This week's Photo Hunt entry)


A few days ago, my good friend sbk put up an entry over at Pictures, Thoughts and Comments of one of the many temples of Kamakura I've not yet visited that made me add Engakuji to my ever-growing list of places I want to go to in the Kyoto of Eastern Japan in particular and Japan in general.  

It also gave me an idea of how I'd be able to weave together the two very different themes for Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunts this week. More specifically, on my own visits to Kamakura in 2011 and 2012, I had come across -- and taken photos -- of a statue in the grounds of Hokokuji that had been adorned with a knitted hat along with clothed bib as well as architecture I like and/or which I consider special in various parts of the town.

I've already got a number of posts up showing many of the buildings I've visited in Kamakura (such as the main buildings of the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine and those in the main temple complex at Kenchoji)  and also its famous Daibutsu (Great Buddha).  But this week's Photo Hunt gives me the opportunity to point out other Japanese religious architectural elements that I like.

One of these are torii -- the traditional gates found at Shinto shrines that symbolically mark the transition from profane to sacred spaces. And yes, some of them -- like those found showing the way to the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine -- can be really big indeed.

Over on the western Hase section of Kamakura is Hasadera, a temple famed for its statue of Kannon (the goddess of mercy) and also its numerous Jizo figurines representing unborn, still-born, miscarried and aborted babies. At its front is not a torii -- because it's not a Shinto shrine but, instead, a Buddhist temple -- but, instead the wooden Sammon (main gate) from which hangs a large red paper lantern.  Granted that it's not as big as that to be found at Sensoji in Asakusa, Japan, but I liked this architectural element all the same -- and considered it worth a close-up photo that I'm finally sharing on my blog today! :)

17 comments:

Trekcapri said...

Hi YTSL, very nicely done "weaving" the two themes together. Love the knitted hat and bib. I notice that the color of red is commonly used. I'm curious if there is a significance or historical background for it. Red is my favorite color so I like it a lot.

Thanks so much for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend.

Vicki said...

What was the significence of Hokokuji being in a knitted hat amd cloth bib? Intruiging.

Special architecture thank you for showing us.

Gattina said...

Love the Tori ! and the knitted hat on the statue is real funny !

Carver said...

Fascinating post and a great way to combine the themes. Your photography and narrative is always so good.

YTSL said...

Hi Trekcapri --

Yeah, I noticed the color red cropping up a lot too. I've read that the Japanese think of the sun as being red (rather than yellow or orange) -- and since Japan is associated with the (rising) sun, red has positive and national associations.

Hi Vicki --

Hokokuji is the temple but I think the statue is of Jizo. Re his knitted hat and cloth bib: dressing Jizo is a way of interacting with him and earning merit.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2012/03/31/our-lives/a-guide-to-jizo-guardian-of-travelers-and-the-weak/#.UQPHOvLjI3U

Hi Gattina --

Glad you like the Torii! :)

Hi Carver --

Thanks as ever for reading and appreciating as well as looking. :)

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I love how you took the two themes and 'knitted' them together!! Well done. You and I were thinking alike in ways of how to differentiate the photo challenge.

Bing said...

i love the torri. this is a nice collection for both themes.

Annie said...

What a special place. I love the knitted hat too. Your photos are fantastic! I hope to visit this part of the world someday.

Happy weekend!

Sue St Clair said...

That statue with knitted hat and bib is neat. I wonder why they had dressed it like that? Great pics as always :)

sbk said...

Hi ytsl,

Great choice of photos for this week's Photo Hunt entry. And thanks for the plug. The red bibs and crocheted hats that Jizo is often seen wearing can be purchased at the Zojo-ji (Temple) in Tokyo. Hehe... just in case anyone was wondering...

YTSL said...

Hi Hootin Anni --

Dunno about you but I needed to think out of the box since I don't knit and didn't want to be reduced to taking photos of my sweaters! ;D

Hi Bing --

I have many photos of torii (because I love them) -- it was hard to choose just one! ;b

Hi Annie --

I hope you make it out to East Asia one day. :)

Hi Sue --

Jizo is like the patron saint of (unborn, etc.) babies - so guess there's a logic to him being dressed like a baby...

Hi sbk --

Awww, there I was thinking the crocheted hat was a personal handmade thing! ;S

fredamans said...

Love the arch!

peppylady (Dora) said...

Once again you fascinated me with Asia...Coffee is on.

Felipa M. said...

Interessante o cavaleiro com a malha vermelha, e a arquitetura é fascinante. É bom conhecer coisas sobre outros países, as suas fotos são sempre ótimas.
Abraço

http://felipa-imagens.blogspot.pt/2013/01/photohunt_26.html

YTSL said...

Hi fredamans --

Ah hah! You see the torii as an arch like me even though the Japanese consider it to be a (symbolic) gate! ;b

Hi peppylady --

Thank you, I take what you wrote as a real compliment! :)

Hi Felipa --

Glad I'm helping to inform you about other countries. And BTW, I think this is my Japan-themed Photo Hunt entry since you began Photo Hunting! ;b

EastCoastLife said...

Always great info for me whenever you post about your Japan trips as I am planning to visit Japan. Thanks for the great tips. :)

YTSL said...

Hi EastCoastLife --

Am glad you find my Japan blog posts of use! :)