Our day at Ryusenji Temple

Shakyou experience

Day of activity: August 3rd 2015

Today we went to Ryusenji Temple. They said it was smaller and less ornate than some of the more famous temples, but I was still really impressed! At the temple we met some preschool kids, and we got to make fans with them. I don’t speak Japanese, so there was obviously a language barrier, but we could still help each other with the glue and admire each other’s drawings that we made on the fans! We also had lunch with them, and the World Campus Japan members had brought bentos from “home”. I was very excited to see that my host mom had made a Pikachu face out of egg and seaweed! It was very cute, and I really appreciated the effort she put into it.

After lunch, we got to try copying a Buddhist text with ink and brush. I’m pretty sure whatever I wrote is not legible to any Japanese person, but sitting there concentrating on copying each stroke made me feel very relaxed, so I enjoyed it very much despite the end result.

Our last activity for the day was kendama, a type of toy that really requires a lot of skill. Our instructor was part of the Japanese Kendama Association, and it showed in how he handled the kendama. He taught us some “basic” tricks, and even though he made it seem easy, it was really difficult to do! It requires a huge amount of practice. It felt a bit silly to stand there bouncing, trying to do tricks with a wooden toy, but it was super satisfying when you actually managed to do it. I will definitely get my own kendama to practice with back home!

Ingeborg Helen Langli (Norway)