Dennis Wright's Blog

Kodaiji Temple

Posted in Far East Cruise 2007, Japan, Kyoto, Travel, Video by Dennis Wright on December 12, 2007

We did then find the Kodaiji Buddhist Temple. The site is quite large and boasts some extensive gardens as well as the various buildings, such as the Ihoan (teahouse). The teahouse has its own picture on Wikipedia. I think mine’s better composed, but then I would.

Japan Kyoto Kodaiji

More pictures of the temple:

Japan Kyoto Kodaiji

Japan Kyoto Kodaiji

The gardens include an unusual “bamboo forest”:

Japan Kyoto Kodaiji

We were there till closing time in late afternoon then made for the exit.

Japan Kyoto Kodaiji

There is a large buddha in the complex but we couldn’t get to it because that section was then closed. All I could do was snap the top half over the fence. There is a picture of the whole buddha here (taken by another visitor 4 days later).

Japan Kyoto Kodaiji

A Geiko outside the temple complex was kind enough to give her permission to let us photograph her.

japan kyoto kodaiji

In the evening we caught a show at the Gion Corner theatre. It is strictly for tourists, but offers up bite sized demonstrations of classic Japanese entertainments, neatly packaged up into a one hour show.

There is a demonstration of the famous tea ceremony. Far too fussy for my liking, not my cup of tea at all. The Gagaku court music was unlistenable. The Geishas playing the koto was interesting, more for the instruments themselves than the music. The koto looks like a log that has been cut in half and then strung. The Geishas sit on the floor to play it.

The section I found the most interesting and enjoyable was the bunraku. It’s like a cross between the Black Theatre of Prague and Julie Taymor’s staging of the Lion King. It’s puppet theatre where the puppets are large (although not quite lifesize) and the puppeteers are fully visible on stage. Some puppets need three or four puppeteers to work them. The piece we saw was an excerpt from the play where Oshichi climbs the fire tower, as mentioned in the Wikipedia link above. The way the Oshichi puppet is made to move in a lifelike way is utterly fascinating.

Actually, I found some video (someone else’s) on youTube (where else?) of the bunraku show at Gion Corner, featuring the Oshichi puppet:

And a bit more for luck – Oshichi’s getting quite agitated about her boyfriend in this one:

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4 Responses

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  1. Via said, on December 5, 2012 at 10:13 am

    never seen krishana .Such swesentes in realtion if its True LOVe one does not need permission or grant ..to be with he or she..as it says LOVE IS UNCONDITIONAL .evn unconditon is 1 condition wt i see just let it be ..it will Be Beutiful experence in once life thanks for sharing .Love

  2. Michael Goldberg said, on November 25, 2012 at 4:15 am

    Dennis, I am a video cameraman / director living in Tokyo (30+ years). I have been asked to prepare 20 pages about Japan for a book about tea around the world. Gilles Maucout, a French Sado (Tea Ceremony) master, and Mihoko Okamura (who was Zen philosopher D.T. Suzuki’s secretary) made some wonderful comments about the small Japanese tea hut. Up against a deadline, I have tried to find a good photo, and yours (of Ihoan) is wonderful. Might I ask your permission to use it in the book, with due credit of course?


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