A real eye-opener

開眼供養
kai.gen.ku.you

Literally: open – eyeball – offer – nurture

Alternately: This is the name of a Buddhist ceremony in which the eyes are added to a Buddhist sculpture or image, completing it and investing it with a soul. By extension, it can refer to a number of related ceremonies, including the consecration of an in-home Buddhist altar or a grave site.

Notes: Buddhist terms often use unusual readings, and this is no exception. Reading 眼 as gan, or 供 as kyou – the more common Chinese-style pronunciations for these characters – is considered an error.

One variant replaces 供養 with synonym 法要 (houyou); each means “Buddhist (memorial) service.”

This phrase is interesting because we’ve already seen one (here) based on a Chinese story about dragons coming to life when completed by putting pupils in their eyes, and because we’ve already seen one (here) that takes the “ensoulment” of a Buddhist image as a metaphor for the vital finishing touches put on any project.

From this blog post describing a grave consecration and bone-interment ceremony

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
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