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  • Many temples at Nara have special admisson at this time of the year. We can see many 十一面観音 (jyuuichimen-kannon / Eleven-faced kannon ) now. I saw 十一面観音像 at 海龍王寺(Kairyuou-ji temple) yesterday.

    海龍王寺 is the temple people pray for the safety of thier travel or studying abroad. Because the first chief priest was 玄昉 (genbou), who traveled between Japan and China in the storm and returned alive. 海龍王 is the god protecting Buddhism. 海(Kai) means sea, 龍(Ryu) means dragon, and 王(Ou) meand king. You can see a dragon in this picture. Of course the dragon was drawn because the name of temple includes 龍, moreover, this is the year of the Dragon in the oriental zodiac. You can also see a chinese charactor 辰(tatsu) in the picture, 辰 is the sign of the oriental zodiac and it means dragon.

    Yes, "Tatsu" of my last name "Tatsumi" is 辰. I happened to visit this 海龍王寺 and I felt something invisible prayed the safety of my new journey from now on.
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