May 14, 2010

Fern in Eisho-ji temple

Eisho-ji temple is the only Buddhist convent left today in Kamakura. This temple was founded in the middle of 17th century by Lady Okatsu (also known as Eisho-in), who was the highest and beloved concubine of Shogun "Ieyasu Tokugawa" (the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate).

This type of gravestone is called Gorin-to (a tower of five rings) and is composed of five stone pieces piled up one upon another. These five pieces generally represent, from the bottom upward, earth, water, fire, wind, and heaven respectively.

I imagine that a deceased beautiful nun is sleeping eternally beneath this moss-covered little Gorin-to in the quiet bamboo grove.

The lively green leaves of fern are brightly adorning this solitary Gorin-to. The vivid crimson leaf left on them seems to imply the elegant feminine spirit of this departed lady.

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