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Almost every temple I have been to has had an area devoted as a sanctuary for otherwise-homeless statues: figures that were purchased for home use but are no longer needed.  Another lesson in impermanence...Mother passes on, but we can't just throw out the object of years of veneration from her home shrine.  Whether it's a room inside a Main Gate, a covered area behind a hall, or just an old household-type shrine left on the street outside the walls, these "discarded deities" sometimes become objects of veneration themselves--as they should be.

The Main Gate at Tian Hou Temple has two rooms, one at either end.  As you face the Main Hall, the room on the right contains mostly Guan Yu figures (right, and above left); the room on the left has mainly Guan Yin (above right).  Both rooms contain censers so the Holy Homeless can still be venerated.


This assemblage stands on a Kowloon sidewalk outside the Tin Hau Temple in Yau Ma Tei.  Many deities are represented but, as usual, Guan Yin and Guan Yu predominate.
A detail of the collection above, showing a many-armed Guan Yin among her more anatomically- correct sisters.


More to come!



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