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August: The Return of Souls

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Nihonmatsu Part 2: Dairin Temple

Here at this temple are the remains of the Nihonmatsu Boy’s Squad.  In Boshin War, boys from twelve to seventeen years old fought to protect the castle.   Among them, the souls of 14 boys and the captain and the second in command who died in the war are resting in the family temple.

This picture was taken at another location honoring the Byakkotai also.     The first picture was the family plot and this one here is the memorial plot.

   Just down the hill from the memorial lies the remains of many foreign delegates from Europe who   came to Fukushima to study and teach, many living here permanently after learning about the Boshin War.

This monument was sent over from Rome in honor of the Byakkotai and their sacrifice to their master.   In the photo you can see the  classic Pompei motif, the symbol of the Roman Empire.  

What nobody else will tell you, is that Adolf Hitler sent over another monument in honor of the Byakkotai, but was removed by the Occupational Authorities in 1945.   If anyone knows or has any information about the remains of that statue let me know.  

It was really heart warming to see so many people paying respect here.   I had to wait in line just to get get close enough for this picture.
Amidst the solemn air there were still interesting and beautiful things to look at, like this furnace and cherry blossom tree enjoying the afternoon sun together.
Or this stone monument.
Beautiful Shidare Cherry Blossoms.   And then there’s the temple itself.    In Japan, Buddhism has always handled matters of the dead then and now.   The souls of those remaining in limbo linger here.
The main temple where I received my omen.

This is one of those rare and off the beaten track temples that most tourist never have an opportunity to visit.  I wasn’t surprised to see a lot of old people on this tour though.  I was so happy.

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