View of east end of the garden at Ryoanji, wall on south side of the garden, and weeping cherry tree in blossom on other side of wall. Petals of fallen blossoms gather on roof of wall and in garden on south side. May, 1998.
The grand shrine at Ise is rebuilt once every twenty years to assure its purity. There are two sites immediately adjacent to one another. The buildings on the left here, screened by the board fence, are the current shrine buildings, while the pebble covered expanse on the right is where the shrine will be rebuilt next time. The small structure standing on the pebbled field covers and protects, keeps pure, the ground directly under the spot where the sacred imperial regalia will be housed in the honden, the main shrine building, when it is rebuilt the next time.
The Five-storied Pagoda at Horyuji is placed to the west of the north-south walk, with its soaring height visually balancing the greater ground area occupied by the kondo to the east of the walk. Earlier layouts for compounds, based on Chinese-Korean models, placed the middle gate, the pagoda, and the kondo, along a north-south axis, forcing the worshipper to encounter each directly, straight ahead, as the worshipper moved into the compound. In this ground plan at Horyuji, from the chumon, the worshipper moves laterally to the right (east) or to the left (west) to approach the kondo or the pagoda. This departure from the continental ground plans for the layout of a compound is important and represents an example of Japanese assimilation and adaptation of continental influences.
View from inside the middle gate, the entrance to the Horyuji compound. The walk runs south to north across the compound, with the kodo, the lecture hall, seen on the north side of the compound. To the right (east) of the walk is the Kondo, the Golden Hall, and to the left (west) is the Five-storied pagoda.
Detail of support and bracketing at southwest corner of the kondo at Horyuji, second story roof.
This poster, encouraging citizens to report suspicions of hand guns being suggled into Japan or trafficked in, etc., was photographed at the police substation in front of the Nara JR rail station, 1998. Like most of the industrialized world, Japan has been undergoing social change at an astonishing and accelerating rate in the latter part of the 20th c. and the beginning of the 21st c. How one might interpret the meaning of this poster is probably open to very considerable disagreement and argument, but the mere fact of its existence will be disquieting to many persons.
View looking to the south across the compound at Horyuji, as seen from the front of the Kodo, the Lecture Hall. The Kondo is seen on the left, the Five-storied pagoda on the right, with the Chumon, the Middle Gate, in the middle behind them.
Exterior of Ginkakuji, viewed across the garden pond. Note the framing of the pavilion by shape of the pine tree and note also the size and shape of the bushes in the foreground -- compare these elements to image I.D. No. ecasia000924, photographed a quarter of a century earlier.
Detail, rock groups at east end of the garden at Ryoanji, viewed looking to the south-southeast from the eastern end of the veranda of the main building. Early morning, clear day in late spring.
Detail, rock groups at the southwest corner of the garden at Ryoanji.