Monday, 7 January 2008

Temple No.17 Jōrin-ji + my pet icicle

I am quite chaffed about my little pet icicle that grew up in the night. Formed from the dripping condensation on the outside of my caravan in the morning, it is approximately 20cm tall with personality.

Simple and faded, the Kannon Hall of Temple No.17 Jōrin-ji dates from the Fifteenth or Sixteenth Century, tucked away in a small lane behind houses, unlikely to be encountered unless you are looking. The current bell (1758) is a copy of the original that was destroyed by fire (difficult?). It is a beautiful bell rendered with 100 images of the Kannon in relief, representing the three pilgrimage courses of Chichibu, Saigoku and Bando. Unlike some bells, it has a resonant voice when pounded with the log suspended by chains. On the way, I stopped for lunch at a Japanese restaurant, bearing the traditional New Year's door decorations below, and devoured two giant ebi (prawns) tempura on rice. Even the ebullient waiter seemed impressed by their monstrous proportions and crustacean feeler protrusions from the box.

The bell is so hung that I could toll it and then stand up inside it feeling the vibrations permeate my skeleton for a long time.

"On occasion the voice of peace resounds like thunder, jolting human beings out of their stupor." - Morihei Ueshiba