Yokoso! Japan - 通訳ガイド的日本再発見

海外から日本に来る外国人観光客の方々に、通訳ガイドの視点から、日本の良さを伝えたい…日頃見慣れた風景もあらためて見れば新鮮に映る、そんな視点で日本を再発見し、通訳ガイドの方もすぐ活用できるように、英語で紹介します。

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ホイサムジャイ

Author:ホイサムジャイ
放浪癖あり(笑)。好きなTV番組は「モヤモヤさまぁ~ず」「ちい散歩」「タモリ倶楽部」「ぶらり途中下車の旅」などなど。。。良く言えば「自由人」、悪く言えば「鉄砲玉」(←出たら戻って来んのかい!)

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上記の広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。
新しい記事を書く事で広告が消せます。

さて、イレギュラーな展開でお送りいたしました「けっこうじゃなかった日光編」。
本日が最終回でございます。。。

え?ネタがなくなったのかって?。。。いえいえ、「時間」がなくなったんです(T-T)

それにしても「唐門」その他の補修作業によっぽどお金がかかるみたいで。。。

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こんなのとか。。。

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・・・「深川不動」かっ!(←以前のブログ記事を参照ください・笑)

仕方ないっスね~。。。では「鳴竜」でも見にいきますかね(^-^)/

ええーっ!?

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ド、ドアが閉まり始めてます~(T-T)

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そして間もなく。。。

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・・・なんてこったい!。。。あ、「大猷院」ももしかして!w(゜0゜)w

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ドン!ドン!・・・開けてくれーいっ!(T-T)

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こうなったら、あと2ヶ所の目的地、「中禅寺湖」と「華厳の滝」へ急ぐしかないっ!(←刑事ドラマかっ・笑)
急いで「いろは坂」を登らねばっ!

ではこのあたりで、いつものやつを。
本日はこの坂の名前にも使われている「いろは」で、いってみましょう!

The Iroha is a Japanese poem, probably written in the Heian era (AD 794–1179). Originally the poem was attributed to the founder of the Shingon Esoteric sect of Buddhism in Japan, Kūkai, but more modern research has found the date of composition to be later in the Heian Period. The first record of its existence dates from 1079. It is famous because it is a perfect pangram, containing each character of the Japanese syllabary exactly once. Because of this, it is also used as an ordering for the syllabary.

The first appearance of the Iroha, in Konkoumyousaishououkyou Ongi (金光明最勝王経音義), was in seven lines: six with seven morae each, and one with five. It was also written in man'you-gana.

以呂波耳本へ止
千利奴流乎和加
餘多連曽津祢那
良牟有為能於久
耶万計不己衣天
阿佐伎喩女美之
恵比毛勢須

Structurally, however, the poem follows the standard 7-5 pattern of Japanese poetry (with one hypometric line), and in modern times it is generally written that way, in contexts where line breaks are used.

Authorship is traditionally ascribed to the Heian era Japanese Buddhist priest and scholar Kuukai. It is said that the iroha is a transformation of these verses in the Nirvana Sutra:

諸行無常
是生滅法
生滅滅已
寂滅為楽

which translates into

All acts are impermanent
That's the law of creation and destruction.
When all creation and destruction are extinguished
That ultimate stillness (nirvana) is true bliss.

・・・という感じでしょうか。

やっと中禅寺湖に到着しましたが。。。

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これじゃ、「華厳の滝」は「聴きに行く」ことになっちゃいますね。。。(T-T)

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・・・そう、せっかくの名所が見れなくて、暗い(Cry)!(T-T)
スポンサーサイト

のっけから出鼻をくじかれっぱなしで(T-T)
先が思いやられます。。。

まあでも、気を取り直してまいりましょう(^0^)/
いざ中へと。

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やはり「行楽シーズン」だからでしょうか。。。観光客がものすごく多いです~。

それにしても、この陽明門の彫刻は、ホント圧巻ですよねっ!

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おかげさまでやっとテンションが上がってきました^^
さて待望の「唐門」はと。。。え?え?えーっ!

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前回から7ヶ月も経っているのに・・・まだコレなんですか~(T-T)

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仕方ないので、ちょっと中を覗いてと。。。

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・・・せめてバケツは、どけといてくれませんかね~。

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で、あらためて全体を見渡すと。。。

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・・・(T-T)(T-T)(T-T)(T-T)(T-T)(T-T)(T-T)

仕方ないっス。。。大丈夫そうな「眠り猫」さんでも見て帰りましょう^^

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さらに、裏側はこうなってるんですね~(一_一☆)

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よかった(^-^)満喫できました~。

ではこのあたりで、いつものやつを。
本日は「左甚五郎さんと眠り猫」で、いってみましょう!

The Japanese sleeping cat is modeled after the famous crouching nemurineko carving by Hidari Jingorou. "Hidari" means "left" and "east", and refers to Hidari being "left-handed". Jingorou is known to have created many famous sculptures at temples, and shrines throughout Japan.

Hidari Jingorou loved cats and was fascinated by cats. Jingorou spent eight months in seclusion to refine his knowledge and technique in wood sculpturing. He spent the majority of his time studying, sculpturing, and carving wooden cats that appeared lifelike in various shapes.

It was Jingorou's goal to carve and sculpture lifelike cats by making "utmost efforts in the future to create a new style in the field of sculpturing".

Jingorou was an apprentice for the Chief Architect Hokyo Yoheiji Yusa of the Imperial Court in Kyoto where he studied how to build temples, shrines, and sculptures.

Through Jingorou's insight and new technique, animal sculpturing would take a new direction in Japan, a realistic appearance of an animal due to fine detailed sculpturing by the artist. Jingorō's approach in detailed wood sculpturing would later have an effect in other areas of Japanese art, namely, ceramic animals.

This creative attention to detailing sculptured cats can be seen throughout the history of Japan, and more applicably in the ceramic arts. It is the fine detailed realistic life like cats that fascinates cat collectors, and makes these special type of cats highly desirable and collectible.

The nemuri neko is so highly acclaimed and marvelled in Japan - it is a National Treasure, and inspiration to Japan artists and artists around the world for centuries.

・・・という感じでしょうか。

しかしまぁ。。。人がホント多いデスね~。
こんだけ騒がしいと、「眠り猫」どころか「不眠症猫」になりそうですね~^^

でもこの彫刻は眠ってるから可愛いのであって、猫の目がギラギラと血走っていたら。。。

・・・そう、多分びっくりしちゃいます。。。きゃっと(笑)

え~、さて本日より「けっこうな日光編」・・・といきたかったのですが。。。
結果が結果だったので、「けっこうじゃなかった日光編」に変更させて頂きました(T-T)

え?何故かって。。。

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・・・この渋滞で(T-T)。。。思わず車酔いが~~

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違うか(笑)

何しろ東京を出たのが朝9時だったんですが。。。日光に着いた時点で午後2時(>_<)

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まあ、まずは「神橋」からっと。

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・・・渡れない(T-T)

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仕方ありません。。。ではいざ東照宮へ(^-^)/
まずは「輪王寺」から、おじゃますることにしましょう!

え。。。え?えぇぇーっ!?

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・・・外観補修工事中!?(T-T)

いいです、もうある意味「慣れてます」ので。。。
ココには「五重塔」もあるじゃないですか~。

え。。。?

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今回の日光編、やはりイヤな始まり方デス(T-T)

ところで、この「日光」という地名、誰が名付けたんでしょうか?

答えは、「空海」さん。
「二荒山」と「二荒神(=宇都宮二荒山神社)」の「二荒(ふたあら)」を「にこう」と読み、「日光」と当て字したという俗説なんですね~ w(゜0゜)w

ではこのあたりで、いつものやつを。
本日はその「空海」さんと、同じく唐に渡り修行した「最澄」さんで、いってみましょう!

In 804 Kuukai took part in a government-sponsored expedition to China in order to learn more about the Mahavairocana Sutra. Scholars are unsure why Kuukai was selected to take part in an official mission to China, given his background as a private, not state-sponsored, monk. Theories include family connections within the Saeki-Ootomo clan, or connections through fellow clergy or a member of the Fujiwara clan.

The expedition included four ships, with Kuukai on the first ship, while another famous monk, Saichou was on the second ship. During a storm, the third ship turned back, while the fourth ship was lost at sea. Kuukai's ship arrived weeks later in the province of Fujian and its passengers were initially denied entry to the port while the ship was impounded. Kuukai, being fluent in Chinese, wrote a letter to the governor of the province explaining their situation. The governor allowed the ship to dock, and the party was asked to proceed to the capital of Chang'an (present day Xi'an), the seat of power of the Tang Dynasty.

After further delays, the Tang court granted Kuukai a place in the Ximingsi temple where his study of Chinese Buddhism began in earnest as well as studies of Sanskrit with the Gandharan pandit Prajna who had been educated at the Indian Buddhist university at Nalanda.

It was in 805 that Kuukai finally met Master Huiguo, the man who would initiate him into the esoteric Buddhism tradition at Changan's Qinglong Monastery (青龍寺). Huiguo came from an illustrious lineage of Buddhist masters, famed especially for translating Sanskrit texts into Chinese, including the Mahavairocana Sutra.

Huiguo immediately bestowed upon Kuukai the first level Abhisheka or esoteric initiation. Whereas Kuukai had expected to spend 20 years studying in China, in a few short months he was to receive the final initiation, and become a master of the esoteric lineage. Huiguo was said to have described teaching Kuukai as like "pouring water from one vase into another". Huiguo died shortly afterwards, but not before instructing Kuukai to return to Japan and spread the esoteric teachings there, assuring him that other disciples would carry on his work in China.

Kuukai arrived back in Japan in 806 as the eighth Patriarch of Esoteric Buddhism, having learnt Sanskrit and its Siddham script, studied Indian Buddhism, as well as having studied the arts of Chinese calligraphy and poetry, all with recognized masters. He also arrived with a large number of texts, many of which were new to Japan and were esoteric in character, as well as several texts on the Sanskrit language and the Siddham script.

However in Kuukai's absence Emperor Kammu had died and was replaced by Emperor Heizei who exhibited no great enthusiasm for Buddhism. Kukai's return from China was eclipsed by Saichou, the founder of the Tendai school, who found favor with the court during this time. Saichou had already had esoteric rites officially recognised by the court as an integral part of Tendai, and had already performed the abhisheka, or initiatory ritual, for the court by the time Kuukai returned to Japan. Later, with Emperor Kammu's death, Saichou's fortunes began to wane.

Saichou requested, in 812, that Kuukai give him the introductory initiation, which Kuukai agreed to do. He also granted a second-level initiation upon Saichou, but refused to bestow the final initiation (which would have qualified Saichou as a master of esoteric Buddhism) because Saichou had not completed the required studies, leading to a falling out between the two that was not resolved.

Little is known about Kuukai's movements until 809 when the court finally responded to Kuukai's report on his studies, which also contained an inventory of the texts and other objects he had brought with him, and a petition for state support to establish the new esoteric Buddhism in Japan. That document, the Catalogue of Imported Items, is the first attempt by Kuukai to distinguish the new form of Buddhism from that already practiced in Japan. The court's response was an order to reside in the Takaosan (later Jingo-ji) Temple in the suburbs of Kyoto. This was to be Kuukai's headquarters for the next 14 years. The year 809 also saw the retirement of Heizei due to illness and the succession of the Emperor Saga, who supported Kuukai and exchanged poems and other gifts.

・・・という感じでしょうか。

しかしまぁ。。。長旅の疲れと空腹が、ダブルでやってきまして。。。

・・・そう、最長(最澄)渋滞で、お昼ぬき。。。メシでも、食うかい(空海)?(笑)

さて、お届けしてまいりました「いざ鎌倉編ふたたび」。
本日が最終回でございます m(_ _)m

で、やってきたのは「建長寺」
あいかわらず立派なお寺さんデスね~^^

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ワタシは特にココが好きでして。。。朽ちかけた木の色合いが、昔住んでた実家を思い出すんです(^-^)/

建長寺にある建造物は、どれも絵になって、あまりの荘厳さに、前回のブログ記事ではほとんど画像ばかりでした。。。

・・・で、今回ネタ切れ(笑)

そういえば鎌倉にあるお寺って、「禅寺」が多いですよね~。やっぱり「禅」の思想がサムライたちの嗜好に合ったんでしょうかね~。

ではいきなりですが、いつものやつを(←今日は早いねっ!?・笑)
本日は「日本の禅宗」で、いってみましょう!

The schools of Zen that currently exist in Japan are the Soutou (曹洞), Rinzai (臨済), and Oubaku (黄檗). Of these, Soutou is the largest and oubaku the smallest. Rinzai is itself divided into several subschools based on temple affiliation, including Myoshin-ji, Nanzen-ji, Tenryu-ji, Daitoku-ji, and Tofuku-ji.

In the year 1410 a Zen Buddhist monk from Nanzen-ji, a large temple complex in the Japanese capital of Kyoto, wrote out a landscape poem and had a painting done of the scene described by the poem. Then, following the prevailing custom of his day, he gathered responses to the images by asking prominent fellow monks and government officials to inscribe it, thereby creating a shigajiku poem and painting scroll. Such scrolls emerged as a preeminent form of elite Japanese culture in the last two decades of the fourteenth century, a golden age in the phenomenon now known as Japanese Zen culture.

Zen was not introduced as a separate school until the 12th century, when Myouan Eisai traveled to China and returned to establish a Linji lineage, which is known in Japan as Rinzai. Decades later, Nanpo Shoumyou (南浦紹明) (1235–1308) also studied Linji teachings in China before founding the Japanese Otokan lineage, the most influential branch of Rinzai. In 1215, Dougen, a younger contemporary of Eisai's, journeyed to China himself, where he became a disciple of the Caodong master Tiantong Rujing. After his return, Dougen established the Soutou school, the Japanese branch of Caodong. The oubaku lineage was introduced in the 17th century by Ingen, a Chinese monk. Ingen had been a member of the Linji school, the Chinese equivalent of Rinzai, which had developed separately from the Japanese branch for hundreds of years. Thus, when Ingen journeyed to Japan following the fall of the Ming Dynasty to the Manchus, his teachings were seen as a separate school. The oubaku school was named for Mount oubaku (黄檗山), which had been Ingen's home in China.

・・・という感じでしょうか。
日本には中国から伝わってきたんですね~^^

では、その「禅」を中国に伝えたのは、誰でしょう?(←いきなりクイズかよっ!)

・・・答えは「達磨(だるま)」さん。
というわけで、その「達磨さん(=Bodhidharma)」についても少々 m(_ _)m

Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th/6th century and is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Zen to China.

Little contemporary biographical information on Bodhidharma is extant, and subsequent accounts became layered with legend, but most accounts agree that he was from the southern region of India, born as a prince to a royal family. Bodhidharma left his kingdom after becoming a Buddhist monk and traveled through Southeast Asia into Southern China and subsequently relocated northwards. The accounts differ on the date of his arrival, with one early account claiming that he arrived during the Liú Sòng Dynasty (420–479) and later accounts dating his arrival to the Liáng Dynasty (502–557). Bodhidharma was primarily active in the lands of the Northern Wèi Dynasty (386–534). Modern scholarship dates him to about the early 5th century.

Throughout Buddhist art, Bodhidharma is depicted as a rather ill-tempered, profusely bearded and wide-eyed barbarian. He is described as "The Blue-Eyed Barbarian" 藍眼睛的野人 in Chinese texts.

・・・ですねっと。

さて、お楽しみの「唐門」を見て、おいとましましょうかね(^-^)

・・・え、え、えぇーっ!???

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近づいてみると。。。

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あ、でも確か裏側からも見えるはずっ。。。

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・・・ダメだこりゃ(T-T)どうにもこうにもならないっスね。。。

・・・ん~っ、ダルマさんの話をした矢先にこの状況。。。そう、手も足も出ません(笑)

え~、まだまだ「いざ鎌倉編ふたたび」の真っ最中で(笑)
続いてやってきたのは、ご存知「鶴岡八幡宮」。
そうです、このブログ記事の150回記念に訪れた場所デスね~(^0^)/

で、問題なのはあの後、とんでもない事件が起こったコト!

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そう、3月にこの「大銀杏の木」が倒壊してしまったんですよね~(T-T)
でも、ご安心を。。。新しい息吹「ひこばえ(=銀杏の新芽)」が芽生えてきているんです(^-^)b

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子どもたちの声援が、銀杏に力を与えているんでしょうね~。。。

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この「ひこばえ」が大木になるのを見届けることは、きっとできないと思いますが。。。

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でもこの「歴史を守り続けていく」という姿勢は、いつまでも持ち続けていかなければならないと思います。

というわけで、いつになくマジメな場面から、いつものやつを。
本日は「ぎんなんの食用」で、いってみましょう!

The nut-like gametophytes inside the seeds are particularly esteemed in Asia, and are a traditional Chinese food. Ginkgo nuts are used in congee, and are often served at special occasions such as weddings and the Chinese New Year (as part of the vegetarian dish called Buddha's delight). In Chinese culture, they are believed to have health benefits; some also consider them to have aphrodisiac qualities. Japanese cooks add Ginkgo seeds to dishes such as chawanmushi, and cooked seeds are often eaten along with other dishes.

When eaten by children in large quantities (over 5 seeds a day) or over a long period, the raw gametophyte (meat) of the seed can cause poisoning by MPN (4-methoxypyridoxine). Studies have demonstrated that convulsions caused by MPN can be prevented or terminated with pyridoxine.

Some people are sensitive to the chemicals in the sarcotesta, the outer fleshy coating. These people should handle the seeds with care when preparing the seeds for consumption, wearing disposable gloves. The symptoms are dermatitis or blisters similar to that caused by contact with poison ivy. However, seeds with the fleshy coating removed are perfectly safe to handle.

・・・という感じでしょうか。

俗に「ぎんなんの食べすぎはよくない」と言われます。これは、メチルビリドキシンという中毒物質が含まれており、大人はその解毒酵素を肝臓に持っていますが、幼児はまだ発達していないので危険なんです。目安としては、大人なら10粒程度、子どもさんは3~4粒にしておいたほうがいいみたいです。。。

・・・まあでも、滋養強壮や老化防止に効果があるそうですし、ほどほどなら、イチョウ(胃腸)にもよろしいようで(笑)

「いざ鎌倉編ふたたび」・・・続いては「長谷寺」へ。
トレードマークの入口にある提灯の画は、今回は割愛させていただきます m(_ _)m

まずは本堂へ。

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基本的に「美しい」デスよね~(^-^)

で、今回ワタシが食いついたのは。。。

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「千体地蔵」さんたち。。。

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・・・メチャメチャ多いですね(T-T)
んんんっ、更なる視線を感じます。。。お、おぉぉっ!

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年末に見かける「第九の合唱団」みたいっスね~^^
あ、もっともココはお寺ですから、聞こえるのは「声明(しょうみょう)」かぁ。。。

・・・え?。。。声明って何か、ですって?

「声明」っていうのは、日本の伝統音楽の一つでして。。。仏典に節をつけたもので、儀礼に用いられる、いわゆる「宗教音楽」なんです。

そもそも「声明」は、古代インドの学問分野(五明・ごみょう)の一つであり、五明とは、声明(音韻学・文法学)・工巧明(工芸・技術論)・医方明(医学)・因明(倫理学)・内明(自己の宗旨の学問、仏教者の場合は仏教学)の5種類の学問分野を指すそうです。で、「声明」は日本への仏教伝来と共に伝わり定着したと言われています。

754年(天平勝宝4年)に東大寺大仏開眼法要のときに声明を用いた法要が行われた記録があり、奈良時代には、声明が盛んにおこなわれていたようです。

そして、平安時代初期に最澄・空海がそれぞれ声明を伝えて、天台聲明(天台宗はこう表記するそうです)・真言声明の基となりました。 またこの天台宗・真言宗以外の仏教宗派にも、各宗独自の声明があり、現在も継承されているそうなんです。

ちなみにこの「声明」の三音階(初重・二重・三重)が、「三重塔」の各層を意味すると言われています。

ではこのあたりで、いつものやつを。
本日はこの「声明(しょうみょう)」で、いってみましょう!

Shomyo refers to the calling of God's name by the Brahman monks of India, the expression of prayer to God, and the versification and voicing of God's teachings (sutra); in other words, the act of chanting. From India, shomyo was transmitted to China, and along with Buddhism, from China to Japan, where it was adopted as part of esoteric Buddhism. The act of chanting shomyo was introduced as a method of salvation, an ascetic practice to be performed by believers themselves.

In the Tendai sect of Buddhism, during the late Heian Period, Ryonin (1072-1132) standardized and compiled the shomyo texts that had been introduced from China sometime in the middle of the 9th century, and built the original shomyo seminary at Raigoin, a temple in the Ohara region of Kyoto. From this time on, Tendai shomyo was called, Tendai Ohara Shomyo. To the south of Sanzenin, a temple in the heart of Ohara, runs the Ryo River, and to the north of it runs the Ritsu River. The Ryo flows wide in a gentle, curving motion, while the Ritsu's current is made up of a group of bouncing billows. By using these characteristics as a metaphor, shomyo was broken down into two styles: ryokyoku and rikkyoku. Simply put, ryokyoku shomyo might be described as foreboding and difficult to understand, as compared to rikkyoku shomyo, which is relatively easy-to-understand and easy-to-remember. Many of the ryokyoku texts are written in Bongo (Sanskrit transliterated into Japanese), and of those that are written in Kango (Chinese characters), most contain only one short extract from the original sutra. Rikkyoku, on the other hand, is made up of a collection of Kango verses. By repeating these phrases and adding a melody, the sutra began to sound like coherent musical compositions. This coherence gave rise to a form, and the flow of the melody created a tempo. The rikkyoku style is believed to have been the basis for many of the distinguishing features of Japanese music, and was later connected to the creation of Japanese traditional music. Which is to say, rikkyoku is musical and songlike whereas, in ryokyoku, chanting strikes the listener as being a stronger element. When structured, as in rikkyoku or music in general, singing becomes a method of communication between human beings. It is a method similar to speaking, which is structured by grammar. However, chanting is the act of linking oneself, as a human being, to God using the spiritual power of the voice. This is, at least, the ideal on which shomyo as it is found in esoteric Buddhism is based.

・・・という感じでしょうか。

しかし。。。何か足りない気が。。。あぁっ!そうかっ!
お地蔵さんに付き物の「赤い」よだれかけが。。。

・・・ええ、やっぱり「千体(戦隊)」ものには「レッド」がいないと(←ヒーローもののオチで来たねっ・笑)

・・・「京都」だと思った?(笑)
だって。。。♪今日~の今日~の大仏さんは・・・って、別に場所は限定していなかったじゃないっすか~(^0^)b

というわけで、本日より「いざ鎌倉編ふたたび」。
このブログでも遂に3回目の登場なんですね~^^

ハイ、こんにちは m(_ _)m

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さすがに3度目ともなると。。。というわけで、アングルを変えて失礼します(笑)

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・・・腹筋運動してるみたいっスね^^
で、さらに角度を変えると。。。

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・・・座椅子に体重かけてのけぞったら、そのままひっくり返った、というお茶の間によくある光景(笑)
「わかっててやったんだもんね~」なんて声が聞こえそうな表情にも見えたりして。。。

ではこのあたりで、いつものやつを。
本日はこの大仏さんにちなんで「阿弥陀如来(=Amitabha)とその教え」で、いってみましょう!

Amitabha is a celestial buddha described in the scriptures of the Mahayana school of Buddhism. Amitabha is the principal buddha in the Pure Land sect, a branch of Buddhism practiced mainly in East Asia, while in Vajrayana Amitabha is known for his longevity attribute and the aggregate of distinguishing and the deep awareness of individualities. According to these scriptures, Amitabha possesses infinite merits resulting from good deeds over countless past lives as a bodhisattva named Dharmakara. "Amitabha" is translatable as "Infinite Light," hence Amitabha is often called "The Buddha of Infinite Light."

According to the Larger Sutra of Immeasurable Life (Mahayana Amitayus Sutra) Amitabha was, in very ancient times and possibly in another system of worlds, a monk named Dharmakara. In some versions of the sutra, Dharmakara is described as a former king who, having come into contact with the Buddhist teachings through the buddha Lokesvararaja, renounced his throne. He then resolved to become a buddha and so to come into possession of a buddhaksetra ("buddha-field", a realm existing in the primordial universe outside of ordinary space time, produced by a buddha's merit) possessed of many perfections. These resolutions were expressed in his forty-eight vows, which set out the type of buddha-field Dharmakara aspired to create, the conditions under which beings might be born into that world, and what kind of beings they would be when reborn there.

In the versions of the sutra widely known in China, Vietnam, Korea and Japan, Dharmakara's eighteenth vow was that any being in any universe desiring to be born into Amitabha's Pure Land and calling upon his name even as few as ten times will be guaranteed rebirth there. His nineteenth vow promises that he, together with his bodhisattvas and other blessed Buddhists, will appear before those who call upon him at the moment of death. This openness and acceptance of all kinds of people has made the Pure Land belief one of the major influences in Mahayana Buddhism. Pure Land Buddhism seems to have first become popular in northwest India/Pakistan and Afghanistan, from where it spread to Central Asia and China

The sutra goes on to explain that Amitabha, after accumulating great merit over countless lives, finally achieved buddhahood and is still alive in his land of Sukhavati, whose many virtues and joys are described.

The basic doctrines concerning Amitabha and his vows are found in three canonical Mahayana texts:

・The Larger Sukhavativyuha Sutra
・The Smaller Sukhavativyuha Sutra
・The Amitayurdhyana Sutra

Through his efforts, Amitabha created the "Pure Land" called Sukhavati (Sanskrit: "possessing happiness"). Sukhavati is situated in the uttermost west, beyond the bounds of our own world. By the power of his vows, Amitabha has made it possible for all who call upon him to be reborn into this land, there to undergo instruction by him in the dharma and ultimately become bodhisattvas and buddhas in their turn (the ultimate goal of Mahayana Buddhism). From there, these same bodhisattvas and buddhas return to our world to help yet more people.

・・・という感じでしょうか。

ではさらに角度を変えてっと。。。おや?

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お疲れのご様子で、ちょっと「居眠り」してしまったかのような。。。

・・・そう、これを「仏陀たね(うたたね)」と言うとか言わないとか(笑)

何だか深川に長居しすぎたようで。。。(^-^)y
そろそろおいとまいたしましょうかね~。

・・・と、見つけたのは。。。

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「三十三間堂」!? w(゜o゜)w
コレって、京都にあるんじゃないんですか~???

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そう、実はこの三十三間堂、正式には「江戸三十三間堂」と言いまして。。。江戸時代にココにあったそうなんです。

京都東山の三十三間堂(蓮華王院)で、「通し矢」が流行したのを受けて、寛永19年(1642年)11月、弓師備後という方が幕府より、当初浅草の土地を拝領し、京都三十三間堂を模した堂を建立したんだそうデス。翌寛永20年4月の落成の際には、徳川家光さんの命により、旗本の吉田久馬助重信さんという方が射初め(いぞめ)を行ったと言われています。

その後元禄11年(1698年)の勅額火事で焼失しましたが、元禄14年(1701年)にココ深川に再建されました。しかし明治5年(1872年)、江戸三十三間堂は廃止されることになり、お堂は再び破壊されてしまったそうです。。。

ちなみに、広重さんの「名所江戸百景」には、ココが「深川三十三間堂」として描かれています。

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ではこのあたりで、いつものやつを。
本日は本家本元の「三十三間堂」で、いってみましょう!

Sanju-sangen-dou is a Buddhist temple in Higashiyama District of Kyoto, Japan. Officially known as "Renge-ou-in" (蓮華王院), or Hall of the Lotus King, Sanju-sangen-dou belongs to and is run by the Myoho-in temple, a part of the Tendai school of Buddhism. The temple name literally means Hall with thirty three spaces between columns, describing the architecture of the long main hall of the temple.

Taira no Kiyomori completed the temple under order of Emperor Go-Shirakawa in 1164. The temple complex suffered a fire in 1249 and only the main hall was rebuilt in 1266. In January, the temple has an event known as the Rite of the Willow (柳枝のお加持), where worshippers are touched on the head with a sacred willow branch to cure and prevent headaches. A popular archery tournament known as the Tooshiya (通し矢) is also held here on the same grounds since the Edo period. The duel between the famous warrior Miyamoto Musashi and Yoshioka Denshichirou, leader of the Yoshioka-ryuu, is popularly believed to have been fought just outside Sanju-sangen-dou in 1604.

The main deity of the temple is the Thousand Armed Kannon. The statue of the main deity was created by the Kamakura sculptor Tankei and is a National Treasure of Japan. The temple also contains one thousand life-size statues of the Thousand Armed Kannon which stand on both the right and left sides of the main statue in 10 rows and 50 columns. Of these, 124 statues are from the original temple, rescued from the fire of 1249, while the remaining 876 statues were constructed in the 13th century. The statues are made of Japanese cypress. Around the 1000 Kannon statues stand 28 statues of guardian deities. There are also two famous statues of Fujin and Raijin.

・・・という感じでしょうか。。。で、柱の陰から覗くイメージで、本日のタイトル「家政婦は見た!」・・・じゃなくて「観音像は見た!」にしてみたんですが、何か?(笑)

それにしても、その三十三間堂で思い浮かぶのは、あの童謡。。。

♪きょう~のきょう~の大仏さんは、天火で焼~けてな~
三十三間堂は、焼け残った~。。。

・・・あ、そうだ、その大仏さんに、会いに行きましょう!(←唐突に新たな展開へ・笑)

さて、そろそろ「富岡八幡宮」を後にして。。。ん、んんっ!?

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こんな所に「鉄橋」があるんですかぁ???
あ・・・ホントだっ!w(゜0゜)w

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橋が架かっていた当時の上の写真が味わい深いので、何となくただ「放置」されてるみたいで(T-T)

おや、他にもあるんですね~^^

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そもそも、何でこんな所に架かってるんでしょうか?

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・・・ははぁ~っ、なるほど。。。しかもコレ「重要文化財」なんですねっ!(^0^)/
しかも渡ることもできるんです!

ではこのあたりで、いつものやつを。
本日はこの「橋」にちなんで、「日本橋」をば。

Nihonbashi is a business district of Chuo, Tokyo, Japan which grew up around the bridge of the same name which has linked two sides of the Nihonbashi River at this site since the 17th century. The first wooden bridge was completed in 1603, and the current bridge made of stone dates from 1911. The district covers a large area to the north and east of the bridge, reaching Akihabara to the north and the Sumida River to the east. Otemachi is to the west and Yaesu and Ginza to the south.

The Nihonbashi district was a major mercantile center during the Edo period: its early development is largely credited to the Mitsui family, who based their wholesaling business in Nihonbashi and developed Japan's first department store, Mitsukoshi, there. The Edo-era fish market formerly in Nihonbashi was the predecessor of today's Tsukiji fish market. In later years, Nihonbashi emerged as Tokyo's predominant financial district.

The Nihonbashi bridge first became famous during the 1600s, when it was the eastern terminus of the Nakasendou and the Toukaidou, roads which ran between Edo and Kyoto. During this time, it was known as Edobashi, or "Edo Bridge." In the Meiji era, the wooden bridge was replaced by a larger stone bridge, which still stands today. It is the point from which Japanese people measure distances: highway signs that report the distance to Tokyo actually state the number of kilometers to Nihonbashi.

・・・という感じでしょうか。

では重要文化財の鉄橋を、渡ってみましょう!(嬉)

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なるほど、2つの工法で作られているのが、当時は画期的だったんですね~。
この橋から、日本の橋作りは変わっていった、そのきっかけなんですか。。。(^-^)

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ずっとずっと、未来を見守る「鉄橋」でいてほしいです。。。

・・・そう、絶対に「撤去(てっきょう)」しないでね(笑)

さて、いよいよこの「富岡八幡宮」の本題へ。。。
実はココ「江戸勧進相撲」の発祥の地なんですね~。

まずは本殿でお参りをば。。。

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で、ふと脇に目をやると。。。(>_<)

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あ、、、もうおみくじは結構デス(笑)
では先へと進みましょう!

・・・と、こんなのがあります^^

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「横綱力士碑」って書いてありますね~(^-^)/

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あ、こりゃぁ江戸時代のお相撲さんですね(驚)

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そもそも、ココ「富岡八幡宮」は、江戸勧進相撲発祥の地として有名でして。。。江戸時代の相撲興業は京・大阪から始まったそうなんですが、揉め事などのトラブルが多くしばしば禁令が出ていました。

その後禁令が緩み、貞享元年(1684)に江戸幕府より、春と秋の2場所の勧進相撲開催が許されます。で、その場所に選ばれたのがココの境内だったんだそうです。以降約100年間にわたって本場所がここ富岡八幡宮でおこなわれ、その間に定期興行制や番付制も確立されていきました。後に本場所は、本所にある回向院に移っていきますが、その基礎は富岡八幡宮で築かれ、現在の大相撲へと繋がっていくことになったと言われています。

今でも、新横綱誕生時には、相撲協会立会いのもと横綱力士碑への刻名式がおこなわれ、新横綱の土俵入りが奉納されています。また両側には伊藤博文、山県有朋、大隈重信といった賛同者の名も見られます。。。広く各界から協賛を得て建立されたってコトですよね~。

ではこのあたりで、いつものやつを。
本日はその「相撲」について、いってみましょう!

まずはその起源から。。。

Sumo is a competitive full-contact sport where a wrestler (rikishi) attempts to force another wrestler out of a circular ring (dohyou) or to touch the ground with anything other than the soles of the feet. The sport originated in Japan, the only country where it is practiced professionally. It is generally considered to be a gendai budou (a modern Japanese martial art), though this definition is incorrect as the sport has a history spanning many centuries. Many ancient traditions have been preserved in sumo, and even today the sport includes many ritual elements, such as the use of salt purification, from the days when sumo was used in the Shinto religion. Life as a rikishi is highly regimented, with rules laid down by the Sumo Association. Most sumo wrestlers are required to live in communal "sumo stables" known in Japanese as heya where all aspects of their daily lives—from meals to their manner of dress—are dictated by strict tradition.

Over the rest of Japanese recorded history, sumo's popularity has changed according to the whims of its rulers and the need for its use as a training tool in periods of civil strife. The form of wrestling combat probably changed gradually into one where the main aim in victory was to throw one's opponent. The concept of pushing one's opponent out of a defined area came some time later.

Also, it is believed that a ring, defined as something other than simply the area given to the wrestlers by spectators, came into being in the 16th century as a result of a tournament organized by the then principal warlord in Japan, Oda Nobunaga. At this point wrestlers would wear loose loincloths, rather than the much stiffer mawashi of today. During the Edo period, wrestlers would wear a fringed kesho-mawashi during the bout, whereas today these are worn only during pre-tournament rituals. Most of the rest of the current forms within the sport developed in the early Edo period.

Professional sumo (大相撲) can trace its roots back to the Edo period in Japan as a form of sporting entertainment. The original wrestlers were probably samurai, often rounin, who needed to find an alternative form of income. Current professional sumo tournaments began in the Tomioka Hachiman Shrine in 1684, and then were held in the Ekou-in in the Edo period. They have been held in the Ryougoku Kokugikan since 1909, though the Kuramae Kokugikan had been used for the tournaments in the post-war years until 1984.

・・・という感じでしょうか。
では続きまして、「相撲と神道との関係について」も少々。

Shinto has historically been used as a means for Japanese nationalism and ethnic identity, especially prior to the end of World War II. It has served to symbolize and provide a sense of belonging, to identify and unify the Japanese people culturally, and to serve as a barrier demarcating the Japanese from other peoples, providing them with a sense of cultural uniqueness. In its association with Shinto, sumo has also been seen as a bulwark of Japanese tradition.

Shinto ritual pervades every aspect of sumo. Before a tournament, two of the gyouji functioning as Shinto priests enact a ritual to consecrate the newly-constructed dohyou, and various Shinto rituals are associated even with the practice dohyou at heya. Both the dohyou-iri, or ring-entering ceremonies performed by the top two divisions before the start of their wrestling day, and in the rituals performed by both combatants immediately before a bout, are derived from Shinto. It retains other Shinto associations as well. The yokozuna's ring-entering ceremony is regarded as a purification ritual in its own right, and is occasionally performed at Shinto shrines for this purpose.

・・・ってなとこですね m(_ _)m

では石碑の裏手に回って、歴代の刻まれた横綱のお名前を拝見しましょうかね^^

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でもって、次は。。。

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・・・何か下の方へ行くにつれて、方向がブレていくような(笑)
で、直近はと言うと。。。

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ん~っ。。。(論外な方が・笑)
まぁ、人生いろいろですから^^

さてココで突然ですがクイズですっ!
土俵の下に埋められているものは、一体何でしょう?

答えは「洗米、するめ、昆布、塩、かやの実、かち栗」の6品で、「鎮めもの」っていうんだそうです。。。

・・・なるほど、昨今の相撲業界の騒動を見る限り、相撲部屋にある土俵の「鎮めもの」は、あんまり機能していないかも(笑)

え~、引き続き「富岡八幡宮」よりお届けします(←ちょっとニュース調デス・笑)
どんどん先へ進んでいきましょう!

と、見つけたのは。。。

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あ~「深川めし」。。。そうそう、そりゃぁ本場ですよねっ!

深川めしと言えば、そう「アサリ」の甘辛煮を炊き込んで、優しい味で滋味たっぷりの「あっさり」とした。。。

・・・あ、もうダジャレ、やっちゃいました(笑)
何しろ暑いので、早く話を進めたくって。。。違うかっ!

んんんっ???何か書いてありますね~ w(゜0゜)w

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へぇ~っ「日本一の大神輿」なんてあるんですね^^
おぉぉぉーっ!(驚)

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・・・豪華絢爛っ!そして。。。

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こう並ぶと判りやすいんですが。。。微妙にカタチが違うんですね(^0^)b

ではこのあたりで、いつものやつを。
本日はまず「お神輿」から。

A mikoshi is a portable Shinto shrine. Shinto followers believe that it serves as the vehicle of a divine spirit in Japan at the time of a parade of deities. Often, the mikoshi resembles a miniature building, with pillars, walls, a roof, a veranda and a railing. Typical shapes are rectangles, hexagons, and octagons. The body, which stands on two or four poles (for carrying), is usually lavishly decorated, and the roof might hold a carving of a Phoenix.

During a matsuri, or Japanese festival, people bear a mikoshi on their shoulders by means of the two or four poles. They bring the mikoshi from the shrine, carry it around the neighborhoods that worship at the shrine, and in many cases leave it in a designated area, resting on blocks, for a time before returning it to the shrine. Some shrines have the custom of dipping the mikoshi in the water of a nearby lake, river or ocean. At certain festivals, the people who bear the mikoshi wave it wildly from side to side.

・・・という感じでしょうか。

で、初の「お神輿」といえば。。。そう、東大寺の大仏さん建立に際し、そのご加護のために、大分県にある「宇佐八幡宮」から神様をお連れした際の乗り物こそが「神輿」だったんです!

というわけで、その「宇佐八幡宮」についても、やってみましょうねっ!

Usa Shrine is a Shinto shrine in the city of Usa in Oita Prefecture in Japan. Emperor Ojin, who was deified as Hachiman-jin (the tutelary god of warriors), is said to be enshrined in all the sites dedicated to him; and the first and earliest of these was at Usa in the early 8th century. The Usa Shrine has long been the recipient of Imperial patronage; and its prestige is considered second only to that of Ise Shrine.

The shrine was founded in Kyushu during the Nara period. Ancient records place the foundation of Usa Jingu in the Wadou era (708-714). It is today the center from which over 40,000 branch shrines have grown. Usa's Hachiman shrine first appears in the chronicles of Imperial history during the reign of Empress Shoutoku. The empress allegedly had an affair with a Buddhist monk named Doukyou. An oracle was said to have proclaimed that the monk should be made emperor; and the kami Hachiman at Usa Shrine was consulted for verification. The empress died before anything further could develop.

From 1871 through 1946, Usa Shrine was officially designated one of the Kanpei-taisha (官幣大社), meaning that it stood in the first rank of government supported shrines. Other similarly honored Hachiman shrines were Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu of Yawata in Kyoto Prefecture and Hakozaki-gu in Fukuoka Prefecture.

The earliest recorded use of a mikoshi was in the 8th century. In 749, the shrine's mikoshi was used to carry the spirit of Hachiman from Kyushu to Nara, where the deity was to guard construction of the great Daibutsu at Todai-ji.

・・・という感じですね m(_ _)m

ところでお神輿を担ぐときの掛け声「ワッショイ!」の語源って、何だかご存知ですか?

コレ、諸説あるそうですが、「和を背負う(わをしょう)」から来ていると言われています。
おりしも某政党の代表戦まっ盛りですが・・・和を背負う、というよりすっかり「和を乱してる」感じがしてなりません。。。

・・・まぁ、我々国民はいずれにしても「かつがれない(=騙されない)」ようにしないとね!(-_-#)

まだ深川エリアを散策中で。。。それにしても「おみくじ」には参りました(笑)
お口直しに(←やや失礼だねっ!)、由緒正しいお宮さんにおじゃましましょう!

で、やってきたのは「富岡八幡宮」。

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当たり前ですが、上品デス(笑)

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お店の構えも、どことなく味があって。。。いいですね~^^

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鳥居とその先に見える本堂も、落ち着いていて、風情があります(嬉)
あ、そういえばココには、あの方がいらっしゃいましたねっ!

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そう、ここには「伊能忠敬」さんがいらっしゃるんです。

ではこのあたりで、いつものやつを。。。あ、でも伊能忠敬さんについては、以前に触れてしまっていました(T-T)
では、仕方ありません。。。もっとツッコんだ話で、「日本地図」について。

まずは「古代の地図」から。

The oldest known map in Japan is a topographical drawing discovered on a stone wall inside a tomb in the city of Kurayoshi, in Tottori Prefecture, dated to the 6th century AD. Depicting a landscape of houses, bridges, and roads, it is thought to have been made not for practical navigational purposes, but rather as a kind of celestial cartography given to the dead to maintain a connection with the world of the living and allow them to orient themselves when moving on to the other world. Similar maps have been found in other kofun burial tombs as well. There is also evidence that at least rudimentary surveying tools were already in use in this era. One of the oldest written references to maps in a Japanese source is found in the Kojiki, the oldest history of Japan, in which land records are mentioned. The other major ancient history, the Nihon Shoki of 720 AD, describes a map of the ancient city of Naniwa (modern Osaka. The first map of provincial surveys is thought to be in 738, as described in the Shoku Nihongi. The earliest extant maps in Japan date to the 8th century, and depict the ownership of square rice field plots, oriented to the four cardinal directions. Shinto shrines held maps that they used for agrarian reform, differentiation of property, and land holdings. The system by which these maps were measured was called jouri, measured in units called tan and tsubo.

で、続いては「田図(でんず)」。

The Imperial Court of the Emperor Koutoku (孝徳天皇) put the Handen sei (班田制) into execution in 646 (大化2年) and asked each province to submit maps of their land holdings, known as denzu. This was considered the first attempt in Japan to draw accurate landscape in picture maps.

さらに「行基図(ぎょうきず)」へと進化します。

During the Emperor Shoumu's reign (聖武天皇), maps known as Gyouki-zu (行基図), named for the high priest Gyouki, were developed. Gyouki himself served as a civil engineer, although there are no explicitly known direct connections between himself and maps. The connection between his name and the term Gyouki-zu is thought to be derived from his authority as a priest and perceived connections between maps and geomantic rites to drive away evil spirits. The term Gyouki-zu was widespread and used for maps which illustrated the routes from the Imperial capital to each province in Japan. These maps covered a broader area, and include a much larger portion of what is now known as Japan, giving an idea of the extent of known territory at the time. Maps from these early surveys, show the northeasternly extent of Japan to be near the island of Sado, the westernly extent as Kyushu and the southernly extent as the tip of Shikoku, indicating a relative relationship of orientation, but lack of knowledge of the true cardinal directions, as Kyushu stretches much further south than Shikoku, and Sado is closer to north than northeast. More important was relative position, especially in terms of the relationship between the capital in Yamashiro Province (Nara Prefecture), and as long as the maps accurately depicted this relationship, they were considered useful. The style and orientation of the Gyouki-zu is much in line with the general overview of Japanese maps as described above, and it was this style that formed the dominant framework in Japanese cartography until the late medieval and Edo periods.

これが戦国時代を経て、江戸時代初期になると。。。

During the latter half of the 16th century and beyond, traditional Japanese mapmaking became influenced by Western techniques for the first time with the arrival of Dutch and Portuguese knowledge through the trade port of Nagasaki. The theory of the Earth as a sphere is thought to have arrived with Francis Xavier in approximately 1550, and Oda Nobunaga is believed to have possessed one of the first globes to have arrived in Japan. Japan thus saw full world maps for the first time, changing notions of a Buddhist cosmology matched with physical geography. The first known printed European-style map was made in Nagasaki in 1645, however, the name of the map's creator is unknown. World maps were made in Japan, but they were often gilded and used for largely decorative, as opposed to navigational, purposes and often placed Japan at the center of the world. Marine charts, used for navigation, made in Japan in the 1600s were quite accurate in depictions of East and Southeast Asia, but became distorted in other parts of the map. Development also continued in traditional styles such as the Gyouki-zu, the improved and more accurate versions of which are known as Joutoku type maps. In these Joutoku maps, coastline was more defined, and the maps were generally more accurate by modern standards. The name "Joutoku" is derived from the name of a temple in Echizen Province (Fukui Prefecture), after a map drawn by Kano Eitoku.

そして、「国絵図(くにえず)」としてまずは完成をみます。。。

The first attempts to create a map encompassing all of Japan were undertaken by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1591, late in the Sengoku period. However, it was not until the Edo period that a project of that nature would come to full fruition under the auspices of the Tokugawa government. Kuni-ezu were maps of each province within Japan that the Edo government ordered created in the years of 1644 (正保元年), 1696 (元禄9年), and 1835 (天保6年). Each of the three kuni-ezu was called Shouhou kuni-ezu, Genroku kuni-ezu, and Tenpo kuni-ezu. The purpose of kuni-ezu was to clearly specify not only the transformation of boundaries of provinces, roads, mountains, and rivers but also the increase in kokudaka (石高) following the development of new field. Maps of each country were drawn in a single paper, with the exception Mutsu Province (陸奥国), Dewa Province (出羽国), Echigo Province (越後国), and Ryuukyuu Province (琉球国) where a several pieces of paper were given. The Genroku kuni-ezu depicted the territorial extent of Japan as reaching from southern Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands in the north to the Ryuukyuu and Yonaguni Islands in the south. A major flaw in these maps, however was the unreliability of surveying techniques, which often involved lengths of rope that easily became distorted, resulting in distortions in the map based on the survey as well. This was largely seen as an unavoidable flaw however. In 1719, the Edo government created a map covering all of Japan based on the Genroku kuni-ezu and completed as Nihon ezu (日本絵図). Maps of roads, sea routes, towns, and castles all become more accurate and detaield on a smaller scale at around this time.

そして、いよいよ伊能忠敬さんの「伊能図(いのうず)」になります m(_ _)m

Ino Tadataka started learning Western astronomy when he was 52 years old. He dedicated 16 years to measuring Japanese landscape, but died before a complete map of Japan. The map, called Ino-zu, was completed in 1821 (文政4年) under the leadership of Takahashi Kageyasu (高橋景保). In 1863, the Hydrographic Department of British Royal Navy published the map of the Shelf Sea around the Japanese islands based on the Ino-zu and the accurate geographic location of Japan became widely known. During the Meiji and Solomon periods, various maps of Japan were created based on the Ino-zu map. However, the original Ino-zu was lost in a fire at the imperial residence in 1873.

・・・と、こんな感じでしょうか。

ひと仕事終えたところで、ではご本人と対面。。。あ、こんにちは。
せっかくなんで、写真撮らせていただいて、よろしいでしょうか?。。。

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・・・ハイ、チーズ(地図)(←ヒネれよっ!・笑)

え~、ふたたび「江戸」に戻ってまいりました m(_ _)m
さて本日はドコ行きましょうかね^^

で、やってきたのは「深川不動尊」。

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・・・なるほど、ココは「成田山」の管轄なんですね~。
さぞかし由緒在るモノがいっぱいあるんでしょうね。。。

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イヤイヤ、またこりゃぁ「渋い」参道で(嬉)
あ、本堂らしきものが見えてきました~。

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では、おじゃまします。。。

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おぉぉっ、ドラゴンの手水舎ですね。。。カッコイイっす!
前回のブログ記事に出てきた「小便小僧と見間違うような」モノとは大違いで(笑)

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あ、コレが不動明王さんのお履きになる「わらじ」ですね(一_一☆)
ではあらためて、参拝をば。。。え、えぇぇーっ!?

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・・・新本堂建立って。。。「東照宮かよっ!」(←わかる方だけ笑ってください)

ちなみに過去のブログ記事で、家康クンゆかりの地を何箇所か訪ねているんですが、ことあるごとに、どこかしらが改装中という運の悪さで(笑)

それにしても、「改装」ならともかく、「建立」だと、そうとうお金もかかるんでしょうね~。。。

・・・ガンッ。。。あ、あ痛たたっ。。。何かにぶつかりましたね???
え、え、え!?

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・・・いくらお金集めなきゃいけないからって。。。商売しすぎでしょっ!(笑)

ではこのあたりで、いつものやつを。
本日は「おみくじ」で、いってみましょう!

Omikuji are random fortunes written on strips of paper at Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples in Japan. Literally "sacred lottery" or "written oracle", these are usually received by making a small offering and randomly choosing one from a box, hoping for the resulting fortune to be good.

The omikuji is scrolled up or folded, and unrolling the piece of paper reveals the fortune written on it. It includes a general blessing which can be any one of the following:

大吉 - Great blessing
中吉 - Middle blessing
小吉 - Small blessing
吉 - Blessing
半吉 - Half-blessing
末吉 - Near-blessing
末小吉 - Near-small-blessing
凶 - Curse
小凶 - Small curse
半凶 - Half-curse
末凶 - Near-curse
大凶 - Great curse

It then lists fortunes regarding specific aspects of one's life, which may include any number of the following among other possible combinations:

方角 - auspicious/inauspicious directions
願事 – one's wish or desire
待人 – a person being waited for
失せ物 – lost article(s)
旅立ち – travel
商い – business dealings
學問 – studies or learning
相場 – market speculation
爭事 – disputes
戀愛 – romantic relationships
転居 – moving or changing residence
出産 – childbirth or pregnancy
病気 – illness
縁談 – marriage proposal or engagement

The omikuji predicts the person's chances of his or her hopes coming true, of finding a good match, or generally matters of health, fortune, life, etc. When the prediction is bad, it is a custom to fold up the strip of paper and attach it to a pine tree or a wall of metal wires alongside other bad fortunes in the temple or shrine grounds. A purported reason for this custom is a pun on the word for pine tree (松) and the verb 'to wait' (待つ), the idea being that the bad luck will wait by the tree rather than attach itself to the bearer. In the event of the fortune being good, the bearer has the option of tying it for the fortune to have a greater effect or can keep it for luck.

・・・という感じでしょうか。

イヤしかし、参りましたね~。これだけおみくじがいっぱいあると、どれを信じたらいいのか。。。

・・・そう、不動さんだけに、みょ~ぉな(明王な)気分です(笑)

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