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sledding

Japan 17: Kyoto

Sensai was kind enough to take me to Kyoto one of the last days of our stay in Japan. Kyoto is famous for its many temples, foremost among them, this one:







Kinkakuji, as the temple is called, was originally built at the end of the 14th century as a retirement villa for a shogun. After his death it was converted into a temple, a common practice. The shogun, Yoshimitsu Ashikaga, originally intended to cover the whole thing with gold leaf, but had hardly gotten started before he died. Over the years, the temple burned down many times. The most recent burning was in 1950, when a fanatical monk torched it. In 1955 it was rebuilt, true to the original design, but with one significant improvement: both upper stories are covered in gold leaf, as per the intentions of Yoshimitsu Ashikaga.

It's an impressive thing to behold.

I can't remember if it was at this temple or at another one in Kyoto that we found candles for sale, which were destined for specific purposes. These purposes were duly noted in Japanese, and fortunately, also in English translation:

schoolwork accomplishment
one's heart's desire
be very fine
do a brisk business
a family in safety
cancer get well
alleviate stress
hold a service ancestral

I bought a candle, can you guess which one ... ?

"be very fine"
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