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Traditional architectural practices in Oosone's (大曽根) enchanting sanctuary.

Hello again, this is Linda GADHOUM a first-year master's student in Environmental Design. This is the second part of my blog. We will continue our exploration adventure together after reaching Oosone's Sanctuary. It was located near the cemetery.

We walked along a narrow path with tall trees. Despite the unbearable heat and the scores of huge bugs attacking us mercilessly, the atmosphere was tranquil yet eerie. This was somehow befitting of the occult space.

Sanctuary's sacred stones

It was these intriguing sculptured stones that caught our attention the first time we stumbled upon them. I wondered what was the symbolic story behind it but couldn't figure it out. It piqued my curiosity since it was perfectly arranged and organized, so I sent it to a Japanese friend. Apparently, it seems to have the mission of making offerings to unborn children and helping those who have not attained Buddhahood and are wandering in the six realms of Samsara, as well as the associated benefits of warding off evil spirits! It is really impressive how a stone can evoke a deep and impressive story.

Oosone's Sanctuary

The architecture in this sanctuary is very captivating. Despite this, the red color has faded little by little, which may be a reflection of the passage of time, which hints at how long it has been since it was built. I wondered, however, why that particular building was almost the only colorful one among the uniform-colored buildings in that space. Are there any special meanings associated with the color red? As I researched this information, I found out that red is considered to be the color of protection in Japanese culture, and is considered to scare off evil spirits and represent power and strength.


The same red building had an enagawa which gave it more charm. This space links the exterior and interior, blends with the surrounding ambiance, and opens up onto the courtyard where lots of vegetation, rocks, and trees can be seen. I have a huge passion for traditional architecture. This is because it not only plays the role of a veranda but also plays a more significant role in connecting humans to nature. I really hope this kind of architectural element can still be used in modern architecture. In addition to presenting Japanese heritage and traditional houses, it also has a sustainable side.

Sanctuary's water faucet

In front of the red building, there was a small space covered with a roof. Under it, we found a faucet. There was no water, however. So, I wonder if it was, or still is, used as a temizuya, for cleansing and purifying the hands and mouth. There was Shide (紙垂),(zigzag white paper), attached almost everywhere, as well as along the ginkgo tree, a magnificent sun blocker that protected us from the heat.

Traditional house architecture

I couldn't resist taking pictures of this building. This was a perfect fusion between the garden and the house. In the marriage of these two elements, a traditional Japanese house can be seen magnificently. Throughout the circle-shaped trees and the color palette, there is an atmosphere of tranquility and Zen, which envelops the mind and the soul with a sense of peace and purifies it from all of its sorrows.

Sanctuary's Gate

This gate was too interesting to not post it here. It shows excellent use of the Vista strategy, emphasizing the focal point. Since we came from the cemetery path we didn't pass through this gate. However, I think if you take another path, different from ours, or if you come by bike or car, you will see the red building shining as an enflamed dragon orb across the gate while walking through the parallel tall tree path.

The funny mysterious Cat

As we returned to the station, we headed back on the same cemetery path. This as I mentioned was attached to the sanctuary. On the way, we heard some noise. There was absolutely no one there, and being next to a cemetery by ourselves made me terrified. We saw a cat looking at us from inside the cemetery. The cat stared at us and aggressively meowed at us. We wanted to see it up close, but there was no sign of the cat. It was scary because urban legends say spirits may appear as animals. That was my thought. But as we walked, we saw the cat again. It was a small cat that wandered into the cemetery accidentally. It was very funny because the timing and place of the encounter were very suspicious. I think it was a pleasant way to end this journey in Oosone. The cat experience will always be remembered. I am glad it was not a ghost.




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