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A walk through Tokyo (2)

Can you read the letters in this photo?

It is “湯島天満宮 (ゆしまてんまんぐう) 車祓所(くるまはらいしょ)”.

車祓所 mean “The place for performing a purification ceremony for cars”. Some Japanese shrines have such places; people who have cars come and ask a ceremony for travel safety. Is there similar custom in your country?

湯島天満宮 is a shinto shrine in Tokyo, which enshrines 菅原道真, a noble man famous for a supreme scholarship. That attracts a lot of students who want to pass exams. In the hope of passing, the students write emas. Ema is a small wooden board; people write their wishes on emas and hang them on a wall as below.

A lot of emas, on which people’s wishes were written.

 

This is another shrine, named 神田明神(かんだみょうじん).

Some anime lovers would know about it, because it was used in several animes, especially in “Love Live!”.

You might know about such characters?

 

A walk through Tokyo (1)

This is an introduction article of Tokyo, not about Japanese grammar.

One day, I had a walk through a part of Tokyo.

This is the statue of Takamori Saigo in Ueno Park. Saigo was one of the most influential samurai in Japanese history for leading the Meiji Restoration.

However, several years after that, dissatisfied former samurais in his hometown raised a rebellion, and he was reluctantly persuaded to be the leader of them. He fought against the government army he created, died in 1877.

 

This is Kiyomizu Kannon-do(清水観音堂), a buddhist temple resides in a part of Ueno Park.

There is a circle formed pine tree in front of the building. The tree is called “月の松” (Tsuki no Matsu), meaning is “Pine Moon”. A famous ukiyoe(浮世絵) artist Hiroshige (広重) painted it in Edo period. The pine was lost in Meiji period because of a typhoon, but was rebuilt in 2012.

 

There is a pond called 不忍池(shinobazuike) beside Ueno Park.

At the center of Shinobazuike Pond, there is a temple called Benten-do(弁天堂). Benten is a shortened name of Benzaiten(弁財天), a Japanese goddess originated from Saraswati of India. Benten has been considered as a symbol of longevity, good fortune, happiness and prosperity. Because of that, it has been worshiped by guilds of many industries, such as:

A statue of globefish. This was built by a guild of licensed cooks of globefishes, and is in the site of Benten-do.

There are many such statues around.

A monument of 東京自動車三十年会( Group of Car Manufacturers Tokyo 30 Years), this was built for honoring people who developed automobile industry in Japan.

上野調理師会(Ueno Licensed Cooks Association)

包丁塚(A monument of kitchen knives)

鳥塚(A monument of birds)

… to be continued.