Tokyobling's Blog

Hasedera Temple Gardens and Statues

Posted in Nature, Places by tokyobling on March 3, 2015

When I visited Hasedera temple in Kamakura city the main hall was undergoing renovation so I couldn’t get any good photos of it. Instead I spent the time in the vast temple gardens, full of statues, little shrines, jizo, trees, flowers and plants of all kinds. The temple is famous for the hundreds of peonies grown there, not in bloom when I was visiting though, but the kawazusakura, the plum trees and many others were.

The jizo statues of which you see so many in Japan are meant to placate the soul of children lost to miscarriage, stillbirth or abortion. The smaller ones are placed here by the parents, and they remain for a year before being removed, symbolizing the rebirth of the soul.

An interesting detail is the Manjiike (卍池), a swastika cross shaped pond. In buddhism the symbol represents eternity, and in Japan it has the added meaning of 10 000, which symbolizes “everything, the universe, the alpha and the omega”.

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6 Responses

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  1. Jonelle Patrick said, on March 3, 2015 at 6:22 am

    How many times have I been to Hasedera and not known about that pond or the peonies? I hope they’re the April-blooming type, so I can go see them this spring! Once again, thank you for showing me something new about a familiar place.

    Like

    • tokyobling said, on March 3, 2015 at 7:56 am

      Thank you for the kind words Jonelle! Yes, the pond is sort of easily overlooked by all the other interesting things going on around it. I often make the same mistake…! (^-^;)

      Like

  2. Kamila Pala said, on March 3, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    Simply beautiful!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂 I love the Japanese stylish gardens so much. Bye. Kamila

    Like

  3. rudyhou said, on March 11, 2015 at 8:19 am

    awesome shots. those many tiny statues look interesting.

    Like


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