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You are in the northeastern part of the huge city (Tokyo is said to cover one hundred square miles). It is the south front of the temple that faces you; there are several other approaches to the chief shrine and all are bright and bustling with life almost any day of the year, especially on the 17th and 18th of each month and on Sundays. (It is a Buddhist shrine to Kwannon the Goddess of mercy, and, of course, the Christian Sunday is not observer per se, but so many public offices are now closed on Sunday the day has come to have a special holiday character). You have just a glimpse of the park at the west side; all Japanese temples have parks or gardens and often a considerable group of buldings, since the priests and attendants live on the premises. Those tall, graceful monuments of stone are lanterns, votive offerings from pious Buddhists-there are a great many in the temple grounds hereabouts. The chamber at the top is the place where a lighted lamp was formerly set on great occasions; now they use electric lights. At those booths alongside the flagged walk you can buy charms and amulets.

The people you see nere coming and going are of the middle and lower classes. The Goddess of Mercy is a popular deity and there are always some worshippers inside those walls, where priests chant invocations and bells tinkle and candles twinkle through the soft shadows of the big, cavernous interior, one hundred feet square. The Buddhists you see going up to the temple now will use strings of beads to count off their prayers. Offerings of money will be made through the priests, then the worshippers will come out, take a walk through the park, look at two or three shows outside the temple gate (behind you) and go home with their sleeve-pockets full of little cakes and toys for their children.

(See Scidmore's "Jinrikisha Days in Japan," and Davidson's "Present Day Japan.")

From Notes of Travel, No. 9, copyright, 1904, by Underwood & Underwood.


Worshippers, vendors, and doves at Asakusa temple, Tokyo, Japan.
Adorateurs, vendeurs et colombes au temple de Asakusa, Tokyo, Japon.
Anbeter, Berkäuser und Tauben im Asafuja Tempel, Tokio, Japan.
Tillbedjare, saljare och dufvor i Asakusa-templet, Tokio, Japan. 
Поклонники, торговцы и голуби в храме Асакуса, Токио, Япония.

Transcription Notes:
Need to finish writing below the double line break German: äöüß

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