Sunday, August 29, 2010

Shopping for Salvation?

28th October, 2006 - We spent the rest of the day shopping in and around Matsubara Dori - which approaches Kiyomizu Dera (and where we didn't have time to do the first time we were here). This is a great place to buy all sorts of traditional Japanese goods. I didn't take any photos (strangely) during our shopping... but it's a great place to find that unusual trinket or piece of pottery. The pottery is famous here, known as Kiyomizu-yaki - and ranges from 1000 yen to the skies-the-limit. Our skies, however, definitely had limits - and we ended up getting some nice traditional tea cups here...

Being in this neck of the woods also gave us a chance to have another quick look around Kiyomizu Dera - the backyard view. I love Jizo statues - especially when there's lots of them. These are not the standard form I'm familiar with, but they give me the same tingle down my spine when I see them. A minature stone audience, watching silently as we walk on by. Are they judging us, or there to be judged? Do they offer salvation, or seek it? What message are they willing to impart to us?

There's always something maudlin about their quiet solitude, their red bibs (and sometimes hats) prepared by those seeking solace, slowly fading with time. With each year, the statues are returned, grain by grain, to the earth from which they came. These Jizo statues are found by following the path to the left once you reach the entrance of Kiyomizu Dera.

This was an easy day - but every holiday needs easy days... doesn't it?
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