Date & Time: Wednesday, January 29 10:00a.m. – 4:00p.m.
Spots: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, Kotokuin-in Temple(Great Buddah) and Hasedera Temple
Visitors: Shawn and Chuwa, A Singaporean couple
Attendants: 2 KSGG members
Shawn, the husband of the couple, had visited Japan several times before but it was his first visit to Kamakura. He exchanged messages with KSGG members on WhatsApp right from the beginning and they were very quick in responding because of no big time difference.
From a KSGG guide, visitors learned about Japanese religion, Shintoism and Buddhism. They asked the guide which religion he believed in. When he answered “Both,” he looked puzzled. It is hard to explain religions in Japan.
At Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine, they drew Omikuji,or a fortune slip. Shawn got Daikichi, good luck, while Chuwa got Kyo, bad luck. Though she grimaced and looked disappointed for a moment, she was encouraged by the words “Such a bad luck will soon go away if you tie the slip to one of the branches of that tree in the precinct.
Shawn is really a straight forward person; he got excited, saying “Wow!” as he saw Daibutsu, the Great Buddha, for the first time. And, once again, he said “Wow!” at the observatory of Hasedera Temple as the view was magnificent.
He also asked difficult questions such as “ What were the social statuses of Ninja and Samurai? ” * They talked a lot and Shawn said “Wow!” many times. It really was a good day!
* The Ninja worked for Samurai lords as spy agents in feudal Japan with highly skilled stealth and secret operations.