Friday, February 12, 2016

(1001) A Chinese in Kanda

Considering the influence Confucius (in Japanese, Kou-shi/孔子) has on Japanese thought, especially since the Edo period, it's strange that there's only one temple in Tokyo dedicated to him. This temple is in Kanda, near Ochanomizu (御茶ノ水) station and is called "Yushima Seido" (湯島聖堂); it was built in the end of the 17th century and since then it has been burnt down, demolished and rebuilt several times as usually happens with everything in Tokyo. In its garden there is the biggest statue of Confucius in the world (it's the one pictured below; the photo is not very good because the weather was too cloudy) but what I find most appealing is how different it is from the Buddhist and Shintoistic temples that are the rule in Japan (its style is much more sober) and how it's always so quiet. As to be expected from a temple dedicated to learning, seriousness and social order.

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

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