NAGANO — A number of worshipers flocked to Zenko-ji temple here on Sunday as a replica of the temple’s principle Buddha statue went on display for the first time since 2003.
The “Maedachi Honzon,” a replica of the temple’s concealed Amitabha Tathagata statue, is shown to the public only once every six calendar years. The display is called “Gokaicho.”
When I read the headline I though oh ok they show the original statue every six years but no that’s not the case, its only a replica! I wonder how often, if ever, the original is shown? And if its not shown why not? There are plenty of priceless artworks and artifacts on display around the world, even religious ones, so I don’t think its ridiculous to suggest they show the original sometimes.
As the temple’s chief priest opened the doors of the altar at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, the gold replica was visible and captivated visitors from across the country.
Wow 6:30 am on a Sunday. This adds to my hypothesis that no matter which religion they are Japanese people like their services early.
Touching a 10-meter-high pillar set up in front of the main hall, which is tied with a piece of gold string to the right middle finger of the replica, is believed to bring as much good fortune as directly touching the replica itself.
I can understand that they don’t want people directly touching the gold replica however that’s quite the set up they have to indirectly touch it. I do commend these people though for their devotion, getting up so early, waiting, and going through lots of trouble to touch a pillar that’s connected to a replica of an important statue. It also helps me to appreciate the closeness of my faith. I can see original masterpieces and important artifacts. I can go to a church at any time and sit in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and pray, and during Mass I can even receive Him in the Eucharist. That kind of thing is available to me everyday if I just go to church yet how many times in the past have I taken it for granted when I should appreciate that I don’t have to wait many years in between.
Here is the wikipedia page on the temple.