Des prières de guérison en toute sérénité à Sugamo
Now living in Sugamo, I really do have to tell you more about the cultural aspect of this district before I get back to France, and even though Hélène already said it almost one year ago in her article about the old ladies Harajuku, Sugamo is a very quiet area. Actually, Sugamo is really famous for being the place where elderlies gather for some shopping as well as “non-young” activities, and even though the Sugamo Kogan-ji temple is dedicated to everyone, most of its visitors are older than average.
I’m not going to talk about the temple itself really, because maybe you have seen thousands of them already and start getting tired of hearing about them, and it’s true they more or less all look the same, so what I’m going to do is I’ll write about the famous Togenuki-jizo statue within the temple, known for its benefits to people. Many people get to this 1.6 meter Buddhist statue all day long to benefit from its curing powers, it’s actually known to cure your pains if you wash the right part of the statue, but also believed to fulfill the wish of prayers to die without bothering their relatives for their care (sad but true).
If you want to try the experience, you’ll just have to pour some water from the fronting fontain on the boddhisattva Kannon, and more precisely on the area of the statue you want to have cured (I’ll try for my painful elbow right tonight), otherwise, if you have a towel or something, you can also simply rub the area with your wet towel. The Togenuki-jizo, literally “where the thorn (toge) is pulled out (nuki)” is accessible every day at any time, but you’d better get there very late if you don’t want to queue for hours, especially on the 4th, 14th and 24th of each month, these are the market days, the area can become really crowded with elderlies on these days. Hope you all get cured without a problem, and wish you the best.