麻布十番

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For most Japanese, “Azabu Juban” is kinda what French should sound like...
Don’t let the slighty decrepit look of some houses fool you though: the neighborhood is one of the most expensive in the city.

6 comments

  1. Absolutely no idea… I walked by and thought it looked rather cool, especially in the way it was surrounded by these other tall office buildings. Didn’t have time to go check closer.
    I’d venture it is something of a sports arena. Perhaps for sumo? Or maybe simply a temple (doesn’t look so, though)…

  2. Actually, I got curious all of a sudden, and after a bit of snooping, I more or less found the answer: here you can see if on Yahoo maps. It’s called the Reiyukai (霊友会釈迦殿). Don’t ask me to translate… something having to do with the Buddha and a few other things… (and no, I had absolutely no idea what the first kanji was either, couldn’t even find it in my multiradical kanji dict, had to google around with the remaining kanjis)
    From a very superficial glance at this page, I gather it is a religious monument of some importance for practicers of a certain branch of Buddhism. This is honestly all I really care to extract from this rather dry historical recount at this point, but I will certainly try to ask around tomorrow…

  3. Wow, thanks!

    I now feel all guilty that I’ve never tried to find out myself! I always remembered to ask my colleagues whenever I walked past… but then quickly forgot again to actually do that.

    I suppose that to translate 霊友会 literally it could be ‘society of friends of ghosts/spirits’. 霊 is also used in 霊園 (cemetery) and 幽霊 (ghost). For a good online dictionary you should try http://www.alc.co.jp, if you don’t know it already.

  4. Yea, problem was: have you seen the size of that kanji on the Yahoo Map? it’s virtually impossible to decrypt it unless you have some serious kanji skills (that I don’t have).
    Otherwise, for my dictionary needs, I tend to use a local application based on WWWJDICT called JEDict (for OS X) and the online version on Jim Breen’s website for anything else…

  5. BTW, a bit of asking around yielded much more useful info than the aforementioned web page: the Reiyukai belongs to a very small religious faction of somewhat buddhist obedience. In fact, like most big temples in Japan, there’s lots of somewhat shady financial stuff going on. One sure thing: they must have some money.

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