Hello, everyone! Shibasaki here 🙂 I’m here in Ryogoku today. Ryogoku is known as the home of sumo wrestling. I’m planning to wander about and look for places to sketch. Relax and enjoy! I’m so happy that the weather is nice today. Trains run on the elevated tracks over there. Kokugikan Sumo Hall is located on the left side. The leaves are changing color, and it’s absolutely perfect for sketching. The building of Ryogoku Station also looks modern and beautiful. Let’s get started. I’m not especially picky about sketching points. Where I step in first is where I draw first. So this station should be the first. There are also lots of people and cars. See how many cars there are? If you draw them all, the scene will look cluttered. The number of cars you draw should be limited. Here it is. So that’s the sketch. And this is the painting. The red taxi is the focal point of this painting. The space under the elevated tracks is also brighter than actual. This is another focal point. Now let’s go to the bright space at the other side of the elevated track. This is the underpass. Let’s turn around and look at the station again to see what it is like. Here it is. It says “Ryogoku Eki (Station)” on the wall. Well then. Going under the track. See how new buildings and the atmosphere of an old town coexist here in Ryogoku? Passing the underpass and looking around to see the tracks. And going with the elevated tracks at the back…, look! Here… this represents the ring entering ceremony of a yokozuna wrestler. Doesn’t it look great? See how smooth his belly has become? Everyone touches it and makes a wish. It’s a small statue, but it shows what Ryogoku is like. This looks like a nice place for sketching…, …but it doesn’t look easy to put up an easel to draw. Drawing requires a little more space. Wow! Here is another sumo wrestler. With this statue, the face is for making a wish. This is the Shiranui style ring entrance. Passing by the statue, where should I start sketching? !? Now I can see something. What’s that? This is it. This is what I’m going to draw. This is actually a renowned temple. Here is the sketch of the temple. And this is what I painted. Let’s go closer to that temple. Across the big street, and here we are! Now I’m at Eko-in Temple. This is Eko-in Temple. Let’s go inside. Look at the guardians of the temple. It’s pretty quiet within the temple. It’s hard to believe it’s in a big city. It feels very nice. !! Wow, here’s something unusual. This is the Chikarazuka monument. It’s big, isn’t it? This is a symbol of sumo wrestlers. Eko-in Temple and grand sumo are very closely connected. Sumo has been performed here since the Edo Period. Let’s go further in the back to see what’s there. This way… !? Look at those towers. What are they? They’re a number of stone towers. This Eko-in Temple originated to console the souls of 100,000 people killed in the Great Fire of Meireki in 1657. Since then, this temple has been dedicated to the souls of those who died in unexpected events and natural disasters. This is a statue of the Buddha. This monument is dedicated to the people who died of illness in prison. And then… ? Oh This is it! See, salt is offered to this jizou statue. This is called “shio (salt) jizou.” People rubbed salt into the statue to make a wish. You can see the salt offered to it. And here are lots of little jizou statues. They look like children. This one’s wearing a bib. And over here toys and windmills are offered. These statues are called “mizuko jizou” and dedicated to fetuses that died before birth. Those are presented for fathers and mothers to pray for their unborn babies who couldn’t come to this world. Little drums and windmills are offered to the mizuko jizou. There are various monuments here for diseased people. Look at this one. It’s a turtle. There is a large stone tower standing on the turtle’s back. This is a tomb, as well. This seems to reflect the influence of Chinese culture. The spirits of a lot of people have been enshrined here since the Edo Period. Why don’t I stop to offer prayers here? To the souls of these people who had to die before reaching their goals, may you rest in peace. !!! I found a kitty! Come here, kitty! She’s hiding. Maybe she doesn’t like me? Come back here! Oh, I see. She’s just thirsty. She’s drinking water back here. Lady : “She just doesn’t care.” “But she’s nice and quiet.” She must be famous among the neighbors. She is eating acorns. Here near the cat, I found a cat monument. In Japan not only humans but also cats and dogs are enshrined. This is Japanese culture. Isn’t it cute? Good kitty! Eko-in Temple is rich in history. Please visit if you have a chance! The next episode will be… Look at this! It’ll be about enjoying food. Doesn’t it look great? What am I eating? It’s so delicious! And I’ll enjoy sketching along this big river. Stay tuned!