B. Philosophy and Religion

Activities for Thought and Faith

Buddhism: White Horse Temple (白马寺) in Luoyang, the first Chinese temple built in 68 CE after the introduction of Buddhism through the Silk Road (2006). Later on, Mahayana Buddhism, which is one of the two major schools, spread to China, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, etc.
Buddhism: Shoden’an at Engakuji Temple (円覚寺) in Kamakura, Japan (2022). D. T. Suzuki, who wrote many books in English introducing the concept of Zen in Buddhism, practiced at the temple and stayed here for some time.
Buddhism: Potala Palace in Lhasa (2007). Vajrayana Buddhism, which is a major extension of Mahayana, spread to Tibet, other Himalayan regions, Mongolia, etc.
Buddhism: Phra Pathom Chedi in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, believed in the country to be the oldest chedi in Indochina (2020). Theravada Buddhism, which is another of the two major schools, spread to Sri Lanka and the Indochinese Peninsula (except Vietnam), etc.
Hinduism and Buddhism: Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, founded as a Hindu temple in the 12th century and later converted to a Buddhist one (2009).
Buddhism: Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen in Bangkok (2019).
Christianity: The Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona, a cross that rises straight on the curves of nature (2015).
Christianity: “Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times” (Isaiah 33:6) displayed at Rockefeller Center in NYC, a Bible verse that speaks to busy people in the big city (2015).
Islam: A “qibla” sign for Muslims at a hotel room in Dubai, indicating the center of worship at the Kaaba in Mecca (2008).
Shinto: Amano Yasugawara (天安河原) in Takachiho, a site of the myth of the loss and return of sunlight in Japan (2023).
(Cont’d) The town has many other mythological sites. A myth remains in Takachiho Gorge that water was brought here by a god (2023).
Shinto: Benten Island (弁天島) in Izumo, a site of myths about the unification process of Japan (2019).
Shinto: The original site of Kumano Hongu Taisha (熊野本宮大社), which was relocated to higher ground nearby after flooding in 1889, and Japan’s highest “torii” (鳥居) gate (about 34m) in Tanabe (2018). Since ancient times, many people have made pilgrimages to the three major Kumano shrines, including Hongu, in the hope of spiritual rebirth.
Shinto: One of the 16 sacred pillars, called “onbashira” (御柱), standing at the four corners of each of the four composite Suwa Taisha (諏訪大社) shrines in Suwa, Japan (2021). The pillars have been rebuilt every seven years since ancient times. Their origin is unknown, but some believe that they mark sacred boundaries.
(Cont’d) Two of the four shrines are located on the north side of Lake Suwa, while the other two are on the south side. The lake, which is a tectonic lake, is located in Suwa Basin where Japan’s two major tectonic lines intersect.
Philosophy: A post-meal proverb by Herbert Spencer, found on a fortune cookie slip received at a Chinese restaurant in Columbus, USA (2013).

Photos: Top page
A. General Works
B. Philosophy and Religion Here
C. History and Geography
D. Social Sciences and Industry
E. Science and Technology
F. Art, Literature, and Other

© 2023 Koichiro Kimura