Hannay-ji Temple is a charming little temple in the northern part of Nara City, famous for lovely flowers.
Although it is called "Cosmos Temple" for the autumn flowering cosmoses, Yamabuki (yellow roses) in spring,
Hydrangeas in summer and Narcisuses in winter are are all so lovely.
When I visited last July, mostly Hydrangeas in the deep greenery.
In early June this year, summer cosmoses were with hydrangeas.
I heard it's difficult to make cosmoses into bloom at this time but the temple staff did it nicely.
I focused on flowers on the water on this visit.
Cosmos flowers were floating in the water-filled "tsukubai", or water-basin.
To pour water over "Mizukake-Jizo", or Watered Jizo, is a custom.
The believers throw water full of ladle over the statue of diety and watch it dripping down,
wishing their soul be purified and their wish be fullfilled.
Tsukubai is not used for that purpose during the pandemic.
Flowers in a bowl.
Hydrangeas in glass cubes.
This Jizo statue was found in the mountain on the eastside.
According to the engraved epitaph, a cotton maker of Nara Machi had it sculpted for
his ancestors' soul in 1754.
The rectangular tsukubai basin made of granite was contributed to the temple between
1673 and 1680.
"絵馬 Ema", or votive tablet, on which people's wishes are written, is another "charm" of this temple.
It is "pleasant and attractive" to see and have "magic power" to make people's wishes come true.
I love various different designs according to time and occasion.
The tablet of ox with sun-rise and auspicious pine tree and Plunus mume blossoms is for the New Year 2021
and the one with Sakura (flowering-cherry) is for the success of entrance examination.
The start of academic year is Sakura-blooming April in Japan.
"Ema" literary means "picture of a horse."
In the ancient times, it was believed that gods travelled to human realm on horseback.
People donated horses to temples or shrines with their earnest wishes but horses are too expensive.
People started to use a horse figure made of wood, clay, or paper, and then a wooden plaque
with a horse picture on it.
The history of ema is here.
Hydrangeas in front of the old earthen walls give me retrospective feeling
that this temple has been through the raging waves of long history since its foundation.
The exact foundation time is unclear, but the roof tiles excavated in the precinct was made in
Nara Period (710-784) and the name Hannyaji appears in the Documents of Shosoin (742).
A brief history of the temple is written at the end of this post, Hannya-ji Temple in Yamabuki color.
The rest of my posts related to Hannyaj;
The simple but refreshingly impressive show of summer flowers is reported to be
the idea of the vice-head priest of this temple to make people's visit more enjoyable.
Linked to Mosaic Monday