kindly in green
You get sidetracked around here. You duck out this morning to buy some lemons — and shazam, it’s afternoon.

Must be the timewarp bubble around these religious structures, like the foreboding, gothic-like Higashi Honganji, with its present building dating from 1939 as Japan’s first ferro-concrete temple. And today you’ve detoured into the carpark and o-higan, the festival that helps you across that river from this life of suffering and ignorance. Well, what do you know, there’s a kindly woman calling to you from a tent. Come over, come over, she says. Have some barley tea and age-mochi deep-fried bean jam cake. No charge!

tea-manju set

So, what do you know, this warm, crisp-skinned chewy sweet morsel tastes pretty good. The kindly woman in green says, We cooked them just behind here, in our kitchen. You know, I’m studying as much as I can about this branch of Buddhism because my husband and I, we’ve only been in it five years and we’ve not so many years left, I want to pass on easy. We moved from our parents’ temple in Yokohama, we can do that, you know, as he’s not the eldest son. This temple is nice and our family can come here by taxi, and we can have graves just over there. So yes, I can rest easy.

We’ve not so many years left, I want to pass on easy.

The other kindly woman in blue tells you, Our group made all this, these mochi and even the picture on the placemat. Several thousand mochi. This is a temple so it’s heart-to-heart, hand-made. Yesterday we had o-bu-pan soy sauce pastries but we had so many visitors they’ve all gone.

Hara-san & helper
She says, Mr Hara knows everything, his whole family is in the temple. Mr Hara says, Yep this o-higan is a pretty big deal but the really big one is in November. You say you’ll come then.

temple approach

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