It happened somewhere at the entrance to Todai-ji, the renown temple that houses the world's largest bronze statue of Buddha. The young monk was walking aimlessly (at least that was what I thought). On his shoulder, he carried a long stick (possibly a small branch of a tree). Along the stick dangled circular-shaped, golden bells, hanging by colorful threads of green, orange, and red.
As he walked around the piazza, he would shift the stick with dangling bells from one shoulder to another. He didn't talk to anyone, he didn't ask for alms, he just walked back and forth.
I couldn't figure him out. I found him fascinating and peculiar at the same time. Hence, the stalking.
Back in Tokyo, at the university, I asked my professor and colleagues about this monk with the bells. Is it a common thing for a monk to do? And is he a monk, in the first place? No one could answer me. Today, more than eight years later, this picture of the bell-carrying monk is still very much a mystery to me.
So, can you enlighten me?
Safiza is a Travel Blogger, Common Reader, Book Hoarder, Art and Nescafe Tarik Lover.