Sunday, June 29, 2008
day 181 - overnight in a Buddhist monastery
Okuno-in is a cemetery like no other. We walked the 2 km length of this memorial inside a forest of giant cypresses to see just some of the 200 000 tombs and monuments to the spirits of the dead. Not just humans, but everyone from termites to dogs. Some of the saddest were to children, including the unborn. Miniature jizo are often dressed in children's clothes as a tribute.
The Great Stupa is a 3D mandala representing the complexity of Shingon Buddhist teachings. The first structure built here was in 837 CE. This version of the almost 50m stupa was completed in 1937.
Lyn has given me some great birthday surprises before, but this one takes the cake!
She organised a mystery weekend - one day in the beautiful beach resort of Shirahama & the next overnight in Shojoshinin, an astounding 1200 year old Buddhist monastery in Koyasan (Wakayama.) More details during the week...