Wednesday, August 23, 2006

270. Kamakura

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Last Monday (Aug. 21st), in the midst of the blazing and relentless summer heat that the country has been experiencing this year, we spent the day in Kita (north) Kamakura and Kamakura itself visiting a number of historical and rather famous Zen temples, including Engaku-ji and Shokozan (once known as the divorce temple, since women could take refuge here from abusive husbands).


These temples date from the period when Kamakura wrested control over the Japanese islands from the court in Kyoto (ca. 1194-1333) and although much renovated and rebuilt these temples still retain a direct link to those days when Zen (Ch'an) Buddhism was being introduced to Japan from China and when the two great Mongol invasions of the country were repulsed by huge storms -- the original "kami-kaze", or divine winds.


An expanded set of 30 photos may be viewed by going to kaboodle.