The Temple Gate

The Temple Gate

To the southwest of the town I lived in there was a Buddhist temple that always caught my attention when I passed it.  The side of the road dropped off steeply and about 2 stories down was the temple with a cemetery next to it.  The day I took this photo I stopped by with one of my vintage cameras (I can’t recall which one, it might have been my Super Ricohflex).  While walking around the temple grounds, an old Japanese lady saw me.  I politely asked her if it was OK for me to be there and shoot photos?  Rather than asking me what country I was from as so many from my rural area impulsively did, the old lady smiled at me and started telling me about the history of the temple.

According to her the temple burnt down a long time ago and was rebuilt.  The gate was the only original part that survived.  She suggested that I take a picture of the gate, which turned out to make a nice photo:

The Temple Gate - William Milberry
The Temple Gate – William Milberry

One thought on “The Temple Gate

  1. There is the legend that a priest of Dazaifu shrine was training in Kyoto and fell in love with a Kyoto lady. When the priest finished training and returned to Dazaifu, the lady followed him to Dazaifu. She could not get to used to the different dialects and customs, and had a nervous breakdown. She threw herself into the river to kill herself, but was rescued by Michizane who happened to walk by. Iron-Heart Monk was this lady’s son. The river runs across the street from the temple (the river looks too small for anybody to throw herself in to commit suicide). The river is far from beautiful, but it used to be very clean and beautiful and the moss used to grow on the banks of the river. In the wartime (Japan had several wars in the past 150 years or so), people picked the moss on the banks and mailed it to their husbands, brothers, and/or sons in the battlefields to wish for their safe return home.

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