where truth resides



The Bridge of the Kyoto Martyrs



In this postcard we see again the memorial stone of the 52 + 1 Martyrs of Kyoto on the right side of the split image but now, to the left, instead of the "Shomen Dori" street sign, we see a little stone bridge which says on its small, squat pillar, "Shomen Bashi," which means "Shomen Bridge."  This is the entrance to the bridge which leads across the Kamogawa to the intersection of Kawabata/Shomen, where the memorial stone lies. 



In the distance, as we are looking toward the east of Kyoto, we can see the quaint Higashiyama (Eastern Mountain) District and the lush- green Higashi-yama itself.  It was here about 100 yards from the site of martyrdom where stood the Great Kyoto Buddha and the Buddhist temple where it stood before both were destroyed by lightning in the 18th century. (See Fr. Graham McDonnell's article on The Great Kyoto Martyrdom).  Now there is only a large bell from that temple which may be the bell that stands at the foot of Shomen Bashi just to the right of the stone pillar we see in the photo, at the side of the road.  (I have seen a large ancient Buddhist bell there at any rate during my brief stay at an apartment building right near this bridge in November-December '94 and January '95.)


As one may have also read in the Articles page, Shogunzuka, where Miyako No Seibo was buried for a time, is atop this mountain, Higashiyama, and thus Miyako no Seibo was looking over and guarding, if you will, the site of Tecla's Martyrdom during her sublimated stay there in the mid-19th century.  On the other hand, as we can also read in the Articles page, Benedict XVI has seen fit to call the mountain that neighbors Higashi-yama to the left (unseen in the postcard) a "sacred mountan" of the Buddhist Shingon sect.