2019年07月05日

The name of 'Mekari' Shinto Shrine in Moji-ku, Kitakyushu City derives from a unique divine service to 'reap wakame seaweed'.

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This time-honored Shinto shrine stands by the shore of the Kanmon Strait, lying between Honshu main island and Kyushu island. This has long attracted many believers as a guardian spirit of the sea traffic safety on the strait. Thus the history of the repeated repair works by the Ashikaga Shogun in Kyoto and other local feudal lords from the beginning of the 14th century are recorded in the documents. The old shrine building in the first picture was rebuilt by a local feudal lord in 1767. This shrine is also known as 'mekari' ritual, which is carried out by the three priests before dawn on January 1st every year according to the lunar calendar. They reap wakame seaweed on the coast just in front of the shrine as shown in the second picture, in order to offer to the guardian spirit. This unique ritual was carried out privately before the Second World War, however it is opened to the public now so that anyone can see it.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:44 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2019年06月25日

Kanmon Tunnel for National Route 2 is a double deck road, the lower part of which is just for pedestrians.

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Honshu main island and Kyushu island are connected with each other by three tunnels and a bridge. This National Route Tunnel was opened in 1958 after the railway tunnel completion in 1942. The construction work was started before the Second World War though, the work was suspended during the war. This tunnel was the first undersea tunnel in the world at that time, and the lower part is exclusively for pedestrians. They are allowed to go through with a bicycle or motorcycle unless they ride. The exclusive elevators on both sides of the tunnel, Shimonoseki City side and Kitakyushu City side, can be used for them. The picture shows the tunnel entrance of Kitakyushu City side.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 08:20 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2019年06月22日

'Nehanbutsu' or 'Neshaka' expresses a state of sleeping Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, when he was on his death bed.

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A sleeping Buddha basically lies down using his right arm for a pillow, casting his head towards north and turning his face westward. Statues of Buddha are broadly divided into three postures. a standing statue showing a state of ascetic practice, a sitting statue a state of enlightenment, and a sleeping statue a state of almost dying. A strange pattern of soles on the feet of a sleeping Buddha as shown in the second picture signifies the cosmos of Buddhism. Only if you touch a part of this unique pattern, you can be happy. This kind of sleeping Buddha can be found in Thailand and Myanmar though, it is very rare in Japan. The big sleeping Buddha in the first picture is found at Nanzoin Temple in Fukuoka Prefecture, which is the world's largest sleeping Buddha made of bronze with total length of 41 meters.

Licensed tour guide, travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 11:23 | Kyushu | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする