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Posted by
Daryl Johnson (Worcester Park, United Kingdom) on 22 January 2009 in Lifestyle & Culture.

Adashino Nenbutsu-ji, Arashiyama, Kyoto.

Visitors to the upper section of the temple pour water onto the heads of Buddha statues. But I don't really know the story behind this; can anyone tell me?

I apologise in advance if I'm tardy with commenting on your blogs or returning comments during the week... I will get to you though!

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

I wish I knew the story. That is a wonderful shot.

22 Jan 2009 5:07am

@Michael Rawluk: Cheers Michael!

standley from Carquefou, France

Superb capture. Sorry I have no idea about the story!

22 Jan 2009 5:39am

@standley: Thanks Richard!

Cheryl from Texas, United States

wonderful culture shot. Don't know the story, wish I did.

22 Jan 2009 12:48pm

@Cheryl: Cheers Cheryl!

kerfendal from Paris, France

I don't know the meaning but interesting shot

22 Jan 2009 2:56pm

@kerfendal: Thanks kerfendal!

vu@granby - Wolfgang from Granby, Québec, Canada

I love his expression!

22 Jan 2009 4:25pm

@vu@granby - Wolfgang: Thanks Wolfgang!

Steve Rice from United States

A beautiful image. I saw this same phenomenon at a temple (a different one than this, I think) in Kyoto. The people visiting would wash the images of Buddha. Unfortunately, I don't know the story.

22 Jan 2009 5:48pm

@Steve Rice: Cheers Steve!

Richard_Irwin from Belper, United Kingdom

I don't now the reasons either, but its a wonderfully tender shot, the care taken by the gentleman in doing this act is really apparent.

22 Jan 2009 9:40pm

@Richard_Irwin: Thanks Richard!

Ronnie 2¢ from London, United Kingdom

I seem to have been told this ceremony reflects heavenly offerings to Buddha and that three washes of the fragrant waters are used to eliminate evils, cultivate good and help save the living.

23 Jan 2009 12:35am

@Ronnie 2¢: Thanks for that information Ronnie!

Suzanne from Huntington Bch, California, United States

Nice capture...very poignant.

23 Jan 2009 3:15am

@Suzanne: Cheers Suzanne!

Damon Schreiber from Toronto, Canada

Sweet image - I seem to remember that you were supposed to water all of them, but my memory fails after that...

24 Jan 2009 5:33am

@Damon Schreiber: Thanks Damon. Yes, people definitely watered each one, in a particular order.

marc from halluin, France

sorry, I can't help you, but I think interessant? that people from generations to generations reply the same actions, and sometimes without know the truly meaning of theirs actions.
A very nice shot, Daryl

26 Jan 2009 9:29pm

@marc: Thank you marc!

Twelvebit from Victoria, United States

I like the use of b&w here.

26 Jan 2009 10:52pm

@Twelvebit: Thanks Twelvebit!

Japanalia from Yokohama, Japan

My husband says that this custom is connected with the NEED FOR WATER; water is very important, to both the living and the dead, therefore one should keep watering the hotokesama continually to keep it alive,so that we stay alive,too. Very complicated......but the image is most attractive in B&W!

28 Jan 2009 5:29am

@Japanalia: Thank you Gabriela, and thank you for that explanation!

akarui from Kagoshima, Japan

Japanese people do also the same thing when they go to the cemetery. They water the tomb for purification.

30 Jan 2009 2:11am

@akarui: Thank you for that information Olivier!