Israeli Man Visiting Temples and Tosho (Swordsmith) in Kamakura

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[Date & Time] Sunday, October 16, 7:45 am—3:00 pm
[Spots] Engakuji Temple, Kotokuin Temple (Great Buddha), and Masamune Sword and Blade Workshop (Tosho or an artisan who makes swords)
[Visitor] an Israeli Man
[Attendant] 1 KSGG member
[Language] English
The visitor was a 26-year-old likable young man. On a fine clear autumn morning, I met him at Kita-Kamakura Station. First, we participated in Zazen (Sitting Meditation) at Engakuji Temple. In spite of his first experience, his posture of Kekka-fuza (the sitting position of placing one’s right ankle on one’s left thigh and putting one’s left ankle on one’s right thigh) was splendid and he kept it for one and a half hours without difficulty. We had lunch at a famous traditional Japanese-style restaurant near the temple. I explained that kenchinjiru (Japanese vegetable-soup) is originated from Kenchoji Temple. To my surprise, he took out his “My Hashi” (personal chopsticks) from his backpack, mentioning that using waribashi (disposable chopsticks) was not environmentally-friendly. At Kotokuin Temple, he expressed his impression that the size of the Great Buddha was beyond his imagination. After resting on the bench where President Barack Obama had sat in 2010 when he had come to Japan to attend APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting held in Yokohama, we returned to Kamakura to visit Masamune Sword and Blade Workshop (a workshop where Tosho or an artisan who makes swords works). In the workshop, while he was looking around the exhibition with great interest, he had a chance to talk with Tsunahiro Yamamura, the 24th Masamune, and asked about his successor. At the end of the tour, he seemed very happy to receive a KSGG original handmade Japanese paper craft doll as a souvenir. It was my first experience of guiding and I thought it was insufficient. However, he was kind enough to say that he thought it more important to feel the heart and the mind of the local people than to find the quick information on the Internet. I expressed my gratitude to this wonderful visitor again.