Monday, February 9, 2009
Leif - Todaiji Temple - Nara, Japan - February 12, 1983 - Age 8
In February 1983, the organization I worked for, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Japan District, held a conference in Osaka. While I was at the conference, Peter W. went sightseeing with the boys, and at the end of the conference, we took the train to the nearby city of Nara and visited the famous temples.
One of the most famous was Todaiji, said to be the largest wooden building in the world, which houses the Great Buddha of Nara, 15 meters tall. Also inside the temple are two huge support pillars which have holes cut through the bottom. People visiting the temple, especially children, crawl through them. Reputedly, they are "healing pillars" and making it through them guarantees a place in heaven.
Our boys had fun acting like they were stuck. There's Leif, age 8, doing his best to look caught. He is wearing an embroidered satin jacket Peter W. got in Korea for him.
You can see part of his cast. He still had it on for his broken arm. I wrote about that for his eighth birthday. Somewhere on the internet, I read that crawling through the pillar is also supposed to
It was a great trip with the boys. We had so many good times in Japan.
Now, with the internet, you can even see a video on YouTube of what must be an entire school class of Japanese kids waiting in line and crawling through one of the pillars.