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This beautiful little pond is in the garden of Sumiyoshi temple in a southern suburb of Osaka. The city itself lies in the direction toward which you are looking. The shrines here are exceedingly ancient; according to popular tradition the temple was founded seventeen hundred years ago by Jingo Kong, the celebrated warrior-empress and favorite heroine of Japan, who personally led a naval expedition across the mysterious, unknown seas at the west and gained the allegiance of Korea. The temple to which this garden belongs is dedicated to three gods of the sea who protected the empress in her fateful expedition; it was in fact the first great event in Japanese history, for, through the following centuries of close relations with Korea, the Japanese learned the doctrines of Buddhism, the Chinese system of written language and the elements of many of the art-industries in which this land has since far surpassed her old teachers!

This lotus that you see growing in such rank abundance is a relative of the American pondlily or water lily. From time immemorial it has been associated in the Orient with religious ideas. To good Buddhists the growth of these delicate flowers, exquisitely clean and lovely, out of the mud below, is symbolic of the possibilities of the human soul, rooted though it is in the earthy and sensuous.

The temple here is of the old original Shinto faith - not the Buddhist which was imported in old times from Korea. 

This garden is a favorite pleasure resort for middle-class people. Osaka children delight in climbing the steep curve of that wooden bridge yonder and watching the turtles that live in this pond - many of them very old, with water-weeds growing on their backs!

From Notes of Travel, No. 8, copyright, 1904, by Underwood & Underwood.


Sacred Lotus Flowers in a Temple Pond at Osaka, Japan.
Les Lotus Sacrés dans un Mare de Temple à Osaka, Japon.
Heilige Lotosblumen auf einem Tempelteich in Osaka, Japan.
Lotos Sagrados en un Estanque del Templo en Osaka, Japón.
Heliga lotusblommor i en tempeldamm vid Osaka, Japan.
Священные цвѣты лотосъ въ Осакскаго храма, Японія.
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