Saturday, February 19, 2011

Buddhist Statue of Shinran Shonin in NYC: Give It Back !

Here is a photo of a Statue of Shinran Shonin I took yesterday. It's something I've seen a few dozen times as one of my friends whizzed by while driving and I always wondered what it was.

It sets back off the highway in a secluded park near the ocean so, you don't see much other than the top portion of the figure silhoutted against the sky when you're in a vehicle.

On the way to do some shooting at the UNESCO: Zakimi-jo (Castle) Museum I was griping to Rusty (driving) about how I'd rather be anywhere than indoors with my camera. It was cloudy outside but, not raining when we cruised on by the statue this time. "Hey, let's go check that staute out" I said.

A quick U-turn and we were parked and grabbing our camera gear to do some shooting.


Whenever I see something in English displayed, like this, I have to shoot a photo of it. It helps me do the research afterwards and it's always handy having it filed right along with the rest of the day's photos.

Now, I don't know how most people feel about it but, for some reason, I tend to put more stock in what I read engraved in stone than the things I find on the internet. Consider me a Neanderthal.

It just seems, to me, it'd be easier, if you were a liar, to put stuff online, than to etch it on to a stone.

Today I went and GOOGLED the Statue of Shinran Shonin and found out WIKIPEDIA is at the top of the list but, there's a whole bunch more places that know all about this figure, too.

It seems Shinran Shonin was born in 1173 and at around nine years of age went and got trained as a Buddhist Monk. To make a long story short, he is somebody important to people who practice Buddhism.

The same type Statue of Shinran Shonin you see in my photo taken in Okinawa, Japan can be seen in front of the New York Buddhist Temple on Riverside Drive in Manhattan, New York.

It survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. So, somebody decided, "Let's take it to New York" !

Huh ?  I wonder if it ever occurred to to anyone it might be a nice gesture to give it back ?



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