Day two in Kyoto opened with Sanjusangen-do, which holds 1001 statues of Kannnon, the Buddhist god of mercy, in the longest wooden structure in Japan. The statues stand behind 28 larger guardian statues. This is the kind of overwhelming temple experience I was looking for. It’s hard to express how it feels to walk slowly down a hall with that many life-size gold statues next to you. Pictures aren’t allowed (nor should they be, really); I made every attempt to burn the experience into my memory.
Doors down the side:
Next, the Kawai Kanjiro Memorial Hall. The hall was the home and workshop of Kanjiro–a potter from the 20th century associated with the Mingei movement. Mingei focuses on an appreciation of folk craft and techniques, and articles made by (and for) common people. (The Mingei-kan in Tokyo highlights this type of work and was my first–priority–stop there.)
The view from his writing desk. Kanjiro made things and wrote all his life.
Kanjiro’s life and home/workspace is the most inspiring place I visited in Kyoto. It makes me want to live a fully engaged life: where my art/work, my writing, the objects I choose to have around me, and my intentions intersect. Let’s help me get there.