Thursday, February 11, 2016

(1000) A goddess and a lute

Benten-sama (弁天様) or Benzaiten-sama (弁才天様) is the Japanese version of the Hindu goddess Saraswati and in Japan is related to snakes, dragons, water, speech, music and art in general and knowledge. Her temples are usually in small ponds like this one in Ueno's Shinobazu (不忍池); the temple is called "Bentendo" (弁天堂) and in front of it there is a statue of a "biwa" (琵琶) lute because Benten is usuall pictured holding one.

For those who want to see a real biwa, here it is in the small park next to the Bentendo; apparently the gentleman in the picture was playing to honor the goddess.

 (For a bigger version of these pictures both in color and black and white, check my"Japan Arekore" set on Flickr).

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