Crashing A Wedding At Chion-in Temple

If you thought I was finished writing about our trip to Japan last September, you would be wrong. There’s still material for a few more posts, including this one.

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Another Buddhist Temple we visited while in Kyoto was Chion-in. Chion-in is the headquarters of Jodo Buddhism, also known as Pure Land Buddhism. I’m not going to embarrass myself by trying to explain Jodo Buddhism, I’ll just say it’s a significant sect founded more than 800 years ago.

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Chion-in’s history goes back to the 13th century, but the current buildings were erected about 350 years ago.

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We didn’t really crash a wedding at Chion-in, but we did observe a wedding party arrive, apparently to pray at the temple.

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I’m guessing this is the bride. It was interesting that the men wore Western suits, but the women wore mostly traditional Japanese clothes.

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My nephew Aaron lives in Japan and his wife Mihoshi is Japanese. When they got married they had both a Western-style and a traditional Japanese wedding, which is apparently not so unusual.

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Here’s a story about my nephew’s wedding. There is a ceremony where the families of the bride and groom meet and exchange gifts. My brother Richard and his wife Diane asked Mihoshi what sort of gift would be appropriate. Reflecting traditional Japanese modesty, Mihoshi responded that the gift shouldn’t be anything special – just a token.

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Richard and Diane took Mihoshi’s response at face value. And so, during the gift exchange ceremony, Mihoshi’s parents provided Richard and Diane with a beautiful crystal vase that must have cost a pretty penny. And in return, my brother and his wife offered: a box of girl scout cookies.

Fortunately, this clash of cultures had no lasting effect on Aaron and Mihoshi’s happy marriage.

Oh, and one other thing – the newest winner of the Garden Book Giveaway is Rose of Prairie Rose’s Garden. The aldermen found her story of the runaway rototiller to be highly entertaining.

15 Comments on “Crashing A Wedding At Chion-in Temple”

  1. The women look lovely in traditional dress for the wedding, I am a bit surprised to see the men in suits, but they all look very festive regardless. I had to smile at the mix up for wedding gifts, I bet that is a common occurrence with cultural differences all over the world (for weddings.)

  2. Your posts on Japan are always so interesting, Jason; the Girl Scout cookies gift is hilarious. And thanks for choosing my submission for the book giveaway! An added note to that story: some time later, my husband’s nephew, who is a pretty husky guy, borrowed that big tiller to work in his own yard. When he returned it, he called it a “man-eater;” that made me feel a little better:)

  3. Oh dear, girl-scout cookies! It’s the same situation as asking your partner what they would like for their birthday and the response being, “oh, you don’t need to get me anything”, or agreeing not to get each other anything for Christmas. You know you need to do the complete opposite!

  4. Oh no, that is quite the wedding cultural mishap! Glad it had no long-term effect! How interesting to be able to observe a Japanese wedding. Many Indian weddings are also the same, with women wearing beautiful traditional saris and men wearing suits.

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