A city with deep cultural history
Onsen had been making yen for about a thousand years when us
western centric critics decided to roll over the calendar from BC to AD
( or BCE, CE if that's your persuation). The myth goes that a
crane with a wounded leg was observed to land here and then flew off
miraculosly cured - what a great spot to turn into a bath!
We arrived too late for an evening bath so we decided to stroll around
neighborhood and check out the sights. Besides a well
equipted but quickly closing mall we found a large part with what
appeared to be worlds largest Hanami going on.
Unlike most of the other gatherings under cherry blossums, this one
seemed to have decided corporate culture to it. The mats were
uniform, many of the groups had the same barbeque's and we didn't see
many children of any age.
Turns out (we later figured out) Kirin
beer was sponsoring the event.
We wandered back to the hostel and slept well. We woke up early
for a soak at Dogo Onsen (no photos) and then a bit of wandering around
Matsuyama's major sights.
I've seen a lot of temples in Japan but
Ishite-ji is by far the strangest. This temple complex has
embraced every other sect it could find in a patchwork of different
styles. The complex itself has a number smaller buildings when
you enter including a pagoda it's know for. There is a cave that
leads to a number of small shrines and statues and then you enter the
back area where more shrines and statues are kept. Around every
corner seems to be something stranger or more out of place.
But the usual temple things are here. This temple has Jizo
statues - statues or markers for the protection of travelers or
children. I've seen Jizo
for travelers in Nikko
, but these ones are definitly meant for
Ultimatly, this is temple 51 of 88 on the pilgrimage route around
Shikoku. While we were there we saw bus loads of pilgrims
disembarking, praying and then leaving and the old solo pilgrim walk in
and take his or her time at the complex. The solo pilgrims are
often doing the route by foot and will take weeks to complete the whole
interupted one pilgrim to ask for a photo. Turns out he spoke
english and had been to Canada before on the crazy 10 day (Niagra
falls, Banff, Jasper, Vancouver) iteneray that is so popular.
After I took his photo he kindly offered to take my photo and then
handed me his hat and walking stick. I was glad I took the time
to say hi.
It was coming up on lunch time and we really needed something to
eat. MOS burger
later, we were off to our next destination - Matsutama Castle.
We were fortunate when we picked our day - today there was a festival
going on in the castle courtyard, but it was hardly traditional.
It was a competive
rock paper scisors compition. Basically,
different community groups (Schools, sports teams, community clubs)
would enter three contestants. In a highly ritualized compition,
on player from each team would face off in a rock paper scisors duel -
the side that lost replaced the player with another until one side lost
all three players.
We had a great day in Matsuyama, but we really had to get going - we
were expected in Kochi for dinner and we still had half an island to
Tags: Japan(18), cherry blossoms(7), statue(6), castle(4), architectural decoration(3), hot spring(3)
From: John Harvey Photo > Trips out of the Country > A Third Trip to Japan > Matsuyama
Those Jizo are for babies that were lost during pregnancy... either during childbirth, abortion, or other loss...
Used to live in Matsuyama for several years and first time I went there I was taking pictures of the "jizo" and got admonished for being very insensitive. This is one of the only places where the mothers can go to mourn their lost children...
Thursday, April 19th, 2007 at 19:00:00
I've been to Matsuyama. It is indeed a lovely place. My wife is from there (I am an American). I was at the temple of the giant sandal when a religious event was happening. Wow, did they get into it. So did my wife. I almost lost her in the crowd. They dive bombed for the rice cakes the officials of the city were tossing out from the podium. She got several so she was happy.
Friday, June 15th, 2007 at 12:01:36
You wrote: "today there was a festival going on in the castle courtyard, but it was hardly traditional" yet Rock Paper Scissors is very much a big part of Japan. Everyone, no matter their age, plays it at some time to decide who is going to do what. It may be here in our culture as well, but that does not mean it is not part of another culture. Anyone know where it originated anyway?
Saturday, April 12th, 2008 at 18:43:20
It is my understanding, as an elementary school teacher in the U.S.A, that Rock-Paper-Scissors originated in China.
Monday, October 13th, 2008 at 03:07:25
hello matsutama i miss you
Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 at 01:58:23
Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 00:54:58 Edit
Copyright and Contact Information.