Sunday, February 6, 2011

Yushima Sei Do

 Do you remember that I referred to Ochanomizu station that is just one station away from Akihabara? I came to Ochanomizu in Tokyo so often when I was a member of a band because there were so many instruments shops.

 This is a view that I could command from a bridge in Ochanomizu. That yellow train is the Soubu line that comes from Chiba prefecture. It takes just 10 minutes on foot from Akihabara to here, so I recommend you don't take a ride. 

There is a shrine that was based on Confucianism near Ochanomizu station. The fifth Tokugawa warlord "Tsunayoshi" built this "Yushima Sei Do" in 1690 as a place where people could learn a kind of Confucianism that was founded by "Koushi" from China. This shrine was burnt down a few times by fires but this gate survived them and has been intact since 1704. 

 This is where you can say a prayer. Your wish would be more likely to come true if you throw some money in the box that is called "Saisen Bako". 

Do you know our school year ends in March? Entrance examinations for private colleges in Tokyo take place from January to February, so I think so many students came here recently to hang these wooden plates "Ema". You can see Kanji "Goukaku" on them, whose meaning is "Success". 

 On the roof of the inner shrine I could see this "Shachihoko". It would be hard to recognize, but that sculpture is a fish, and it is lying with its belly on the roof and tail up in the air. You can see this fish also on many of the Japanese castles, so if you come to Japan to see a castle, look up at its roof. 

I think students often want something that supports them mentally. Shrines are the ones in Japan that give people in need peace of mind.