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2019/10/21 23:50:00 Kyoto Seen from the Camera Lenses: Ninnaji Temple Part II

  • Categoryお知らせ
  • Posted byStudent Reporter
Hello. We are Nanami Shimaoka and Ayumi Uratani, 2nd year students at the Department of Global Tourism Stuides.

Continuing from the last week, we are going to report on the interview that we had with Rev. Gishin Kanazaki who oversees the temple’s property management of Ninnaji Temple.  For this time, we asked him about his work at the temple.

1. How did you start working for Ninnaji Temple?

I was born as a son of a master of the branch temple of Ninnaji. This was the reason why I wound up working for Ninnaji Temple. My major was far from what I do now. I was studying architecture when I was in university.

2. What kind of work do you do at Ninnaji Temple?

I am in charge of property management other than cash like buildings and treasures. I also organize events and conduct operations at Ninna-ji Temple. Since the advertisement development focuses on public relations (PR), I always keep in mind the importance of not losing the posture of Ninna-ji as a temple. I always try to reflect my desire not to deviate from my values and conscience to cherish of Ninna-ji Temple during the operations. It is also important for the admission section to listen to the opinions of the people who are communicating with the worshipers and to make improvements on the site.

3. Why did you start to manage, plan and promote PR in the Finance Department?

Ninna-ji Temple has tens of thousands of cultural properties. As a result, the frequency of repairs is high, and as a matter of fact, conservatory repairs are very expensive and may cost much more than the income that comes to the temple. Even though it is a temple, it is important to secure enough financial resources to secure the temple as collateral in order to convey precious cultural assets to the next generations from the perspective of property management. Recently, we have exhibited cultural assets at exhibitions and art museums, and planned light-ups. The purpose of presentation at the exhibitions is not to make money, but to make people know about Ninna-ji Temple, its technology, and culture.

4. What is the specific purpose of the light-up project?

As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to manage the costs of repairing of treasures and buildings, so I started such activity as part of that plan. In this light-up project, the price was set higher than the usual admission fee, clear rules were adopted, and visitors were allowed to take photos in a way that would not affect cultural assets. The theme of this light-up was “inheritance to the next generation”. If various people take pictures and these pictures remain, they will be useful for repairing if the building is damaged due to a disaster, etc. Also, because of the high price setting, the number of people will not increase that much, so visitors can take photos slowly on their own path.

5. Visitors from which country are the most regular?

At present, there are many European visitors. The reason is that there are many people in Europe who are interested in World Heritage. In fact, the data collection of foreign tourists visiting Japan has not been successful, and we are working to attract more tourists.

Although I felt that the temple itself may look different due to the difference between religious denominations, I found that there was no difference in fact, but when I talked to the people who actually work at the temple, I learned that the way of managing and operating a temple is different depending on the temple. Ninna-ji is demonstrating a unique approach as it is planning and operating a luxury shukubo (pilgrim lodging) for 1 million yen per night. Rev. Kanazaki actually said, “I want you to visit various other temples. There are various forms of management and operation, different from Ninna-ji. Each temple is different.” When I heard it, I thought that the perspective when visiting would change.

I wish everyone could come and visit the World Heritage site Omuro Ninnaji. We would like to thank Rev. Kanazaki and Omuro Ninnaji for their cooperation.

  • Universalization progresses at Ninnaji.
  • The Light-up Project will start soon!

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