Quiet tea, talky tea

Butsuma--a space for the Buddha. Chanoma--a space where people drink tea, eat, chat.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A walk around Tsukiji pt II

Another landmark in the area is Tsukiji Hongwanji, which is a branch temple of the famous Jodo Shinshu (know also as Shin Buddhism) temple, Nishi Honganji in Kyoto.


This building is also post WWII, and is neo-Indian, although the interior of the main hall is traditional Japanese style, although done in concrete and other non-flammable materials. Another distinctive feature of the temple is its pipe organ. Not a very ambitious one, but worth it for the novelty, I think. At an English-language service there one time, I had my first experience of congregational Buddhist hymn-singing accompanied by the organ. However, the other day, I was in for a shock--the altar area of the main hall has been walled off for reconstruction. The posted construction plan started March 1, so it seems to be unrelated to the earthquake. They set up a temporary sanctuary in another wing of the building, also very beautiful in a simpler way. As I sat there, drifting in and out of a meditative state, a priest led people in for consecration of Buddhist images they had purchased, with a bit of bell-ringing and sutra chanting and a short Dharma talk. One time, I sneaked some pictures in the main hall, showing the elaborate altar--felt a little bit guilty, although there is nothing posted there about photos, but I didn't ask anybody either. But I am glad I have them--I wonder if the new altar will be different.

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