goshuin

Kyoto is a city full of Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines.  I've been spending quite a bit of time at both, sitting, listening to the monks chant, praying; and generally enjoying the beautiful structures, artifacts, and vibes of each place. There is a tradition called Shuincho, which is the collecting of the official seals (shuin) from each temple or shrine in a small book (shuincho). At one time shuincho documented a religious pilgrimage from place to place, but while they are generally no longer used as such, each temple/shrine still has it's own seal, and many Japanese collect seals from each temple/shrine they visit.  Shuin offer good luck and protection.  As well as the official seal, each shuin also includes calligraphy written by a monk at the shrine - usually the date and the name of the shrine.  

It's a wonderful way to document temples/shrines visited, and, each shuin is a small work of art. I'll be updating the below photo gallery as I go... Stay tuned.