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Banraku Puppet Theatre, Kochi Temples and Pacific Ocean

Yesterday before we left Tokushima we went to the puppet theatre in Bando.

Awa Jarobe House – Banraku Puppet Theatre

We saw a performance of “Awa Ningyo Jorui” at this quaint little puppet theatre – based in an old home of Bando Jarobei – on who’s life one of the puppet characters is based. There is also a beautiful museum with historical documents and mechanical wooden puppets – they are truly amazing and there facial expressions are so realistic when they are in action.

We then took a scenic train trip to our next destination Kochi, with the train snaking its way through the mountainous countryside with sea views glimpsed at different intervals.

Tosa Jinga (Temple)

A beautiful calm sanctuary tranquil and peaceful – firecracker prayer boards – many shrines and toriis in this complex. Simple but sophisticated architecture – A lovely Shinto priest gave me a book explaining many of the practices and terms – he spoke no English and I spoke no Japanese but it was a lovely gesture and kind transaction.

Temple 30 Zenrakuji – Kōchi

A simple temple – Note the little felt Jizo hanging from the prayer boards.

Temple 31 Chikurinji – Kōchi

At temple 31 – it is an incredibly steep and long winding road to this temple – many pilgrims endure the long journey on foot (we took a taxi).

Hito – Kota (One wish granting Jizo) at Temple 31 Chikurinji – Kōchi – whilst we were at this shrine a young man came and made his wish and prayer for Jizo (being baby).

This amazing cat is located at temple 31 on the 88 temple pilgrimage trail. It is a mountainous area and serene and tranquil. The buildings are stunning; including the modern five-story pagoda. The word Kita appearing on his stomach and it is believed that the cat brought prosperity and good luck to his family. The family therefore rewarded him by dedicating this statue to the faithfulness of the cat to whom they attributed their prosperity.

One of the most beloved of all Japanese divinities, Jizo works to ease the suffering and shorten the sentence of those serving time in hell. Jizo can appear in many different forms to alleviate suffering. In modern Japan, Jizo is popularly known as the guardian of unborn, miscarried, and stillborn babies and other lost babies. These roles were not assigned to Jizo in earlier Buddhist traditions from mainland Asia; they are modern adaptations unique to Japan. Jizo also serves his customary and traditional roles as patron saint of expectant mothers, children, firemen, travelers, pilgrims, and the protector of all beings caught in the six realms of reincarnation.

Gochi – Nyorai – There was also an amazing section with 5 mandala representing the enlightened world of Dainchi- Nyorai

Finishing the day with a trip down to Katsurahama beach – Kochi – beautiful scenic beach overlooking the Pacific Ocean

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