Maltese from a Mediterranean island visit Kamakura

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[Date & Time] Tuesday, March 28, 9:30 am–5:30 pm
[Spots]Engakuji Temple, Kenchoji Temple, Kotokuin Temple (Great Buddha), Hasedera Temple, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, and Jufukuji Temple
[Visitors] 1 Maltese couple
[Attendant] 1 KSGG member
[Language] English

The visitors came from Malta, an island country in the Mediterranean Sea which is famous for the Knights of Malta. In Engakuji Temple, they stood still for a while at the garden and said, “It makes us feel refreshed.” Guiding them, I noticed the husband was interested in history and culture, especially, samurai and gardens. After lunch, we visited Kotokuin Temple, Hasedera Temple, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Jufukuji Temple, and Komachi-dori Street. They were highly pleased with the Great Buddha. It was the day’s highlight. They marveled at the Eleven Faced Kannon in Hasedera Temple. After we visited Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, the center of Kamakura, we went to Jufukuji Temple. When they looked at its small garden, the wife said to herself a word, “Tranquility.” As the sunset was approaching, we started to talk about Japanese cultures such as zen, Japanese garden, samurai, martial arts, and tea ceremony. What they really felt interested in were such things. I understood the reason they selected the day’s spots.
The visitors said they had watched the popular movie, Shogun (Samurai King).
They got interested in Japanese history and culture through the movie. The movie was loosely based on the adventures of an English navigator, William Adams, who journeyed to Japan in the early seventeenth century and rose to a high rank in the service of shogun. We had a lively conversation about the relationship between William Adams and Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first shogun of the Edo shogunate and the relevance of his journey to Gulliver’s Travels, British novels in the eighteenth century.