- 1 min read

Kyoto Adashino Nenbutsu-ji 2 of 4

From the mizuko jizo to the bamboo forest

Continued from part 1.

Adashino Nenbutsu-ji is known as Sai-no-Kawara, an area where corpses are left exposed to the elements with no attendants. Although such a practice may seem at first creul from a modern view, this ancient custom allowed visitors to pray for the souls of the deceased directly. A last chance to see the face of a now gone parent allows us to come to grips with the fragileness and quickness of life. Miscarried or stillborn babies known as "mizuko" (water children) are given memorial services in the Hall of Long Life (延命地蔵尊). Putting your hands together to pray in the vicinity of the main hall where the deity Amitabha is enshrined is said to help guide these young souls into a happy afterlife.

The sun begins to set and all becomes silent as I walk the compound this late autumn day. Emerging from some deep emotion inside me, I have a new appreciation for my life in this world. I suppose such a feeling is appropiate for visiting such a place like this.

Click here for part 3

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Find out more about Adashino Nenbutsuji Temple.

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