Images of Koyasan, Part 1

Well I’m back from a great trip to Japan so I can now upload some of the sketches I made while I was there. For the most part I managed to keep to my challenge of drawing something everyday, whether in my diary/sketchbook or an e-drawing on my phablet. I’ll bring you the drawings in several chunks.

Today I’m starting with images from the mountain town of Koyasan. This town is a religious centre for the Buddhist Shingon sect.  The main form of accommodation in town is at hostels run by the various monastic temples. The main drawcard to this type of accommodation is the vegetarian cooking that is prepared for guests. Believe me when I say that this food is not a form of abstinence (well apart from not eating meat). Here is a sample of one evening meal, for one person.

Dinner for one at the Jimyoin monastery, Koyasan, Japan

Dinner for one at the Jimyoin monastery, Koyasan, Japan

Guests, whether Buddhists or not, are invited to attend morning prayers in the temple. Prayers are led by the head priest, who is supported by other ordained priests. It was half an hour of chanting in a darkened space, lit only by candles, a time of focus and being present.

I thought it was also a perfect opportunity to practice fixing an image in my mind. This drawing was made after I returned to my room for breakfast. The first morning I was seated directly behind the head priest. The priest is marking the prayers with the ringing of a bronze bowl.

The head priest at the the Jimyoin Monastery, Koyasan, Japan

The head priest at the the Jimyoin Monastery, Koyasan, Japan

Two days later I drew another part of the temple furniture, in this case a cabinet containing images of the Buddha.

A cabinet containing images of the Buddha, Jimyoin Monastery, Koyasan, Japan

A cabinet containing images of the Buddha,
Jimyoin Monastery, Koyasan, Japan

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