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Temple’s spectacle service a sight for sore eyes

A bizarre celebration was held in honor of discarded eyeglasses at a Buddhist temple in Izumo, western Japan, on Thursday.

More than 10 monks chanted a Buddhist sutra with about 200 pairs of spectacles piled up between them and the Ichibata temple’s main Buddha statue.

The service, which has been held every Nov. 8 for the past 30 years, gives spectacle wearers from across the country a chance show gratitude to their glasses for their years of service, rather than just throwing them in the trash.

The ceremony at the Shimane Prefecture temple was established by clergy who saw visitors frequently bringing used glasses and asking for them to be blessed.

Situated on a hill in the central part of the Shimane Peninsula, Ichibata temple enshrines the Yakushi Nyorai healing Buddha. The Buddha is said to have been raised from the Sea of Japan by a local fisherman in the 9th century.

After finding the Buddha, the fisherman’s mother’s eyesight is said to have recovered and the temple has since attracted people looking to heal ailments related to the eye.

A temple official said there are plans to donate the eyeglasses to people in India after the memorial service.

All — Kyodo News+

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