An Among-the-Fall-Colors “What am I?” Quiz
What am I? something at the Shojiji Temple (AKA “ Hanadera ” ), Kyoto Japan 勝持寺 / 花の寺 -- Shojiji Temple (Hanadera) (勝持寺 / 花の寺) -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 28mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
What am I?
something at the Shojiji Temple (AKA Hanadera), Kyoto Japan
勝持寺 / 花の寺

The other temple we visited on Tuesday's outing after the spectacular Yoshiminedera (seen here and here) is one known as the Flower Temple (hanadera花寺), though its official name is the Shojiji Temple (勝持寺).

In any case, the thing seen above was sitting on the veranda of the main temple building. On the front in faded big characters is 「大原野」(Oharano), the name of the area.

On the side is a date: July 1889.

What is this 125-year-old thing?

As usual with my What am I? quizzes, I'll keep all comments from appearing until after I reveal the answer in a blog post in a few days.

For context, here's a wider view of the front of the temple building:

Shojiji Temple (Hanadera) (勝持寺 / 花の寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 1/100 sec, f/2.8, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos

The quiz thing is at left, partially obscured in this view by the stone lantern.

Pulling back farther, and to the right, you can get a small hint as to why we were there...

Shojiji Temple (Hanadera) (勝持寺 / 花の寺) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2014 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/ -- This photo is licensed to the public under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (non-commercial use is freely allowed if proper attribution is given, including a link back to this page on http://regex.info/ when used online)
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 27mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos

All 9 comments so far, oldest first...

Looks like water pump for when there’s a fire?

— comment by lestrrat on November 23rd, 2014 at 7:44am JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I’m going to guess it’s a large scale butter churn.

— comment by David G on November 23rd, 2014 at 11:26am JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

A Palanquin (norimono)?

— comment by Daniel on November 23rd, 2014 at 11:28am JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

A rice carrier?

— comment by RBMann on November 23rd, 2014 at 2:45pm JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Some form of litter for an object.

— comment by Ricardo Carvalho on November 24th, 2014 at 11:05am JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

Is this some sort of well pump or sump pump?

Alvin from NYC

— comment by Alvin on November 24th, 2014 at 11:05am JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

It would help if you made it a wigglegram 🙂

— comment by Steve Friedl on November 24th, 2014 at 2:39pm JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I wish I knew.
At first I thought it was to be carried. But that main beam pivots. And there are 4 iron rods leading into the box. It looks a bit like a steam engine. So I think it’s a water pump. But I have no idea why that huge wedge is holding the lid closed.

— comment by Daniel Cutter on November 25th, 2014 at 7:44pm JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink

I’ve posted the answer here —Jeffrey

— comment by Jeffrey Friedl on December 3rd, 2014 at 5:26pm JST (2 years, 8 months ago) comment permalink
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