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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Repairs at Chionin Temple to Protect the Forgotten Umbrella

Kyoto Temple Roof知恩院の七不思議は壊さない 御影堂の修理

Repairs are currently taking place at Chionin Temple. They are not however, according to the temple, a threat to one of its "Seven Wonders."

The seven wonders are:

Nightingale Hallway
Plainwood Coffin: A Symbol of Nonattachment to One’s Life and Body
The Forgotten Umbrella: A Symbol of Gratitude
The Sparrows that Flew Away: A Symbol of Polishing One’s Mind
The Cat That Sees in Three Directions: A Symbol of a Parent’s Heart
Large Rice Paddle: A Symbol of the Buddha’s Salvation
Cucumber Rock: A Symbol of Encouragement

Of those, the Forgotten Umbrella is showing its age and is scheduled to be removed and fixed.

According to the temple's site:

This umbrella can be found between the eaves on the southeast section of the front of the Mieido (hall which houses the image of Honen). According to legend, it was forgotten by Hidari Jingoro, a master carpenter. However, according to another legend, it was left behind by a white fox as a sign of gratitude to Reigen, who protected his nest during the construction of the Mieidō. Supposedly, the fox also promised to guard Chionin. Since the umbrella has a relationship with water, it is thought to protect Chion-in from fires.

The temple will be open on November 2 and 3 between 10 am and 4 pm as repairs proceed.

Photo © Kyoto Shinbun


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