May 11, 2011

Benten-do in Ueno Park

In the article I posted yesterday, I presented Kiyomizu Kannon-do. Today, I will present Benten-do in Ueno Park. Kiyomizu Kannon-do is modeled on Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto. On the other hand, Benten-do is modeled on Hogonji Temple in Chikubu Island, Shiga prefecture.

Since Benzaiten is one of the most popular deities in Japan, many temples enshrine Benzaiten. Among the temples, Hogonji Temple located in Chikubu Island is the center because it is said that Chikubu Island is the place where Benzaiten descend to first in Japan.

Benzaiten is a deification of the river. Thus, a hall where Benzaiten is enshrined is usually located by a pond. For example, Hogonji is located in Lake Biwa. You have to ride a ferry to go to Hogonji.

I visited Benten-do on May 8. Benten-do is near Kiyomizu Kannon-do. Benzaiten is called Benten shortly. In the Edo period, Benten-do was located in Shinobazuno Pond, and people rode a boat to go there. But, the way is built to landfill a part of the pond. That is, You can walk there today.

When I visited there, I watched a sign at the place for burning an incense stick.The sign says "This INCENSE STICK is for Cleaning your body and Cleaning your spirit".

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