On the second to last day of visiting Dharma relatives and temples associated with my spiritual ancestry, we visited the temple where Rev. Master Jiyu-Kennett spend a few years running a temple in the small village of Hagino in Mie-ken. It is just off Highway 43, 10 km NW of Tsu.

The village Head Man met our bus at the highway on his bike and escorted us through the rice fields to the temple.

Rev. Master Jiyu’s Rural Temple – Japan

This was the smallest temple visited so far and it was beautiful! I can understand why Rev. Master liked it so much.

Outside the temple.

The Main Altar at Umpukuji

The statue on the altar is a Kanzeon.

Main Altar.

Main Altar with Kanzeon

The building was in good repair and obviously loved and cared for by the congregation.

View of the main altar from the kitchen.

Umpukuji – Reception Committee

The village Head Man had arranged for nine of the congregation and the local Tendai priest to meet us at the temple. It was quite a shock to walk in and find them all sitting in a row waiting in anticipation. We talked for a while then it was clear we were expected to do a ceremony so we sang The Scripture of Great Wisdom in English followed by an offertory. In the end, the priest gave me a small fan to extinguish the candles which seemed to be some kind of honour being proffered. Afterwards, we all had tea and cakes. The conversation was not easy however the general impression we got was of being very welcome. One member had brought a bound copy of the village record book which had a photograph of Rev. Master in it.

For me, this was the most moving visit made on this tour as it brought me close to knowing how it was for Rev. Master to function as a parish priest in Japan.

The reception committee.