The Dutch weren't the only foreigners in Nagasaki, though: the city has long had a substantial Chinese population. Nowhere is this more apparent than Tera-Machi, or "Temple Row," a stretch of hillside temples on Nagasaki's southern flank. The temples represent a mixture of Buddhism and traditional Chinese polytheism, with most of the temples serving as a resting place for the portable shrines carried in Chinese ships.
I won't go into too much detail about the temples, largely because there wasn't a lot of information available in English. (What we do know, we picked up from the excellent audio guide at the Nagasaki Museum of History and Culture.)
Instead, I'll try to let the pictures speak for themselves.
|Very Japanese, to begin with.|
|Nana makes a new friend. We see a lot of stubby-tailed cats here in Japan.|
|A Buddhist-style hillside graveyard.|
|You can really see the Chinese influence in the red and gold,|
as opposed to the usual Japanese white and brown.
|One of two wooden fish drums representing desire.|
This is the male fish, with his mouth open.
|The female fish has her mouth closed,|
supposedly because she has less desire.
|We never did figure out what this thing was.|
|I'm really glad that, of all the signs around this place,|
this was the one they decided to put in English.
|A dragonfly on a wilted lotus.|
I'm actually a little ashamed for having just typed that.
|This lotus blossom hasn't flowered yet.|
|The frog is fake.|
If I were a frog, though, that's exactly where I'd be.
Today's Language Lesson:
Tera-machi-wa kire-i desu ne.
Temple-town-(subject) pretty is no?
Temple Row is pretty, isn't it?