Sunday, May 10, 2009


I actually went to Bannaji Temple (or dainichi-sama... which is apparently what people call it) for the first time on my way home from school one day. I also visited the same day that I went to Ashikaga Gakko - since it was Showa day there was a whole lot more going on. They had this crazy puppet fortune teller that was cool. It gave me my love fortune... which turned out to be not spectacular, but not terrible, either. I tried to take a video of it w/ my cell phone, but I hadn't quite figured out how to take better-quality videos, so please excuse the poor quality:

There were a ton of people hanging around the temple, so I found it a little difficult to get some good shots sans...human beings.
There is a small pagoda on the grounds, whose form is very similar to the Indian stupa, not a big ol' pagoda like your stereotypical one at Toji in Kyoto.
There is a koi pond & garden which was nice, but there were these junior high school boys who were in my photos. Oh well, I guess they just added to the ambiance. Bordering the garden is an interesting belltower that has these sides that curve upwards toward a interlocking tie beam roof structure that surrounds the actual bell.
Next to the main hall there's another big hall that has red beams and white clay walls. Behind it are a storehouse, a tiny shinto shrine, and bigger shrine (to what, I don't know) which was painted a bright red (looks like its fading now).
So.. according to the brochure Bannaji temple was founded by Ashikaga Yoshikane about 400 years ago, which would be the Kamakura Period, AKA the Ashikaga period, which was when the Ashikaga bakufu ran the show. There's a nice little family tree at the end of the brochure that shows you the Ashikaga clan.

I love that that dude just decided to take a nap on that bench.
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