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Thu. Sep. 13. 2018Field trip to Ginkakuji

September 11, 2018 : Field trip to Ginkakuji (The Eight Millions Divinities of Kyoto : Introduction to Japanese Religions)

Below is a report by Kevin Woolsey (University of Virginia).

Our introduction to Japanese religion class took a field trip to Ginkakuji, a World Cultural Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Kyoto. Ginkakuji was founded in 1482 by the 8th shogun of the Muromachi period, Ashikaga Yoshimasa and is known as the center of the Higashiyama culture. Higashiyama culture is characterized by a flourishing of things today considered to be quintessential traditional Japanese arts, such as tea ceremony, ikebana, noh drama, and gardening. At today’s Ginkakuji, the extensive garden is perhaps what catches the eye of most tourists. When walking through the temple grounds with its lush green trees and moss-covered rocks, one feels surrounded by nature; only the neatly trimmed branches and raked pebbles remind one that it is in fact a maintained garden. One classmate described standing in the garden as quiet and peaceful, despite the ambient buzz generated by groups of tourists. Ginkakuji is a beautiful place to see, and I think all of us are looking forward to learning more about the historical and cultural background from Professor Lyons.

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