Where do Hopes & Prayers Go?

Where do prayers go?  Những lời nguyện cầu đi về đâu? Where do our hopes journey to?  Những ước mong của chúng ta hành trình về chốn nào? What of the dreams we carry inside our hearts for this life on earth? Visitors to Shinto shrines in Japan often write their wishes, dreams, aspirations and prayers onto wooden plaques, known as ema 絵馬, and hang them at the shrine, in the hope that these …

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Journey of 2000 Steps

加藤 清正 Kato Kiyomasa (July 25, 1561 – August 2, 1611), the 大名 daimyo of 熊本 Kumamoto is enshrined at Jochibyo, part of 本妙寺 Honmyo-ji Temple in 熊本 Kumamoto. Honmyo-ji Temple is recognised as being the pre-eminent temple of Nichiren Buddhism throughout the entire island of Kyushu, west of Japan. 加藤 清正 Kato Kiyomasa was a devoted practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism and renowned for his skills in envisioning and building impenetrable fortresses. He was …

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彌生草間 Eternity of Eternal Eternity 永遠の永遠の永遠

For the past several months, the center of Kumamoto City has been covered in dots.  From Louis Vuitton to the corner bookstore, everyone seems to have become dotty. Bookstore shopfront. Café interior. It is difficult to understand the reason for this Dots Obsession until you discover the stimulating work of 彌生草間 Yayoi Kusama and her amazing art. 彌生草間 Yayoi Kusama’s Eternity of Eternal Eternity 永遠の永遠の永遠 exhibition has been held in …

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宮本武蔵 Miyamoto Musashi’s Burial Mound

Miyamoto Musashi’s statue based on his portrait. The burial mound of Miyamoto Musashi is in Kumamoto, the place where he lived during the final five years of his life and completed The Book of Five Rings 語輪書. It is here that Miyamoto Musashi’s body lies in full armor with sword in hand, as he had willed prior to his death. Musashi’s tombstone. Everyday there are fresh flowers for the Sword Saint. The …

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五百羅漢 500 Enlightened Beings

The five hundred disciples of Gautama the Buddha who attained enlightenment through liberating themselves from human desires and delusions are often depicted in paintings and statues in Japanese art and in Buddhist temples. These arhats are revered for they are recognised as having freed themselves from the karmic wheel of human suffering and earthly lives. At Reiganzenji Temple 零巌禅時 on Mount Iwatono, just outside of Kumamoto city on Kyushu island, Japan, there …

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One Moment of Perfection

Shimada Art Gallery may be the most perfect art gallery I’ve ever experienced. Nhà Triển Lãm Nghệ Thuật Shimađa có thể là nhà triển lãm nghệ thuật hoàn hảo nhất mà tôi đã từng trải qua. Le Musée d’Art Shimada peut être le plus parfait musée d’art que j’ai connue. The entrance. Cửa vào.  L’entrée. The garden outside, on the gallery grounds. Vườn ngoài sân nhà triển lãm. Le jardin …

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宮本武蔵 Miyamoto Musashi In the Spirit Rock Cave

 It was in this cave in which Miyamoto Musashi wrote the Book of Five Rings 語輪書during the year 1645. Reigando霊巌洞, or Spirit Rock Cave, is located on Mount Iwatono in present-day Kumamoto prefecture, west of Kumamoto city. During Musashi’s time, it was known as mountain Iwato of Higo. Higo was the name of the  region that later became Kumamoto Prefecture. A temple later was established as part of the entrance …

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