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  • Thumbnail for Southeast Asian style pagoda memorial in the forest
    Southeast Asian style pagoda memorial in the forest

    I cannot recall what this shrine is for but it resembles others at Koyasan that embody the religious architectural conventions of Southeast Asia and so is likely dedicated to the many soldiers, Japanese and local, who lost their lives there during World War Two.

  • Thumbnail for Shrine along the path
    Shrine along the path

    This old shrine must have been dedicated to the ancestors of a family. It also has the torii entrance.

  • Thumbnail for Two old temples within the Garan complex
  • Thumbnail for Kongobuji courtyard
    Kongobuji courtyard

    At the end of a long flight of stairs, the two structures to the left flank the entrance to the Kongobuji complex. The main temple is to the right just out of the photo.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 001, Altar of Heaven at night
    Thorp Collection 001, Altar of Heaven at night

    Altar of Heaven at night. Beijing. (Hartungs) Notes regarding the images in the James Thorp Collection, presented in this database as images ecasia000072 through ecasia000278: -- We have very little specific information regarding individual images in this collection of images of China, beyond the titles of the images. Following is a general statement about the group of images, as a whole, and about their creator. -- James Thorp was a professor of geology and soil science at Earlham College from the 1940s until his retirement in the early 1960s, when he was replaced by Charles Martin. He was a legendary teacher, as well as a highly respected geologist and an international expert on soils and soil conservation practices. He also was a skilled photographer. -- When he retired from Earlham, he left a set of rich resources to the college, including a very large collection of photos of China from the 1930s and an important collection of Chinese art. -- The photo collection includes prints and a group of about 400 glass transparencies. The images in this current section of the IDEAS project have been drawn from the collection of glass slides. -- In 1933, when he was 37 years old, Thorp, then an employee of the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry and Soils, U.S. Department of Agriculture, went to China, on loan from the Department of Agriculture. He served in China for three years as chief soil technologist for the National Geological Survey of China. The survey of Chinese resources which he directed resulted in his book, Geography of the Soils of China, published by the National Geologic Survey of China, 1936. -- During the years of his work in China, he toured the country analyzing and mapping the soils, taking many hundreds of photographs as he did so. Many are photos of soils, rock patterns, agricultural practices, etc., which he used later in his teaching and in his book on the soils of China. Other images depict China, itself, its temples, landscapes, and people. It is primarily from the latter group that these IDEAS project images have been selected. -- Unless otherwise noted, as is the case with the first 16 images presented here, image numbers ecasia000072 - ecasia000088, the photos were taken by James Thorp. [We believe that those first 16 slides were commercial images, several taken by a photographer named Hartungs, and the rest by Adams, as indicated in the data with the images.] The descriptions of the images, the only documentation we have for these images, are taken directly from Thorp's markings on each glass original, although spellings have been edited to reflect current practice. -- The images were taken using a view camera, probably producing glass negatives, which were then converted to these positive images on glass slides for projection. -- The positive glass slides have been carefully transferred to 35mm film by Wes Miller, Director, Instructional Technology and Media, Lilly Library, Earlham College. The film slides were scanned for use in this project by Sandy Augustin, Earlham assistant for the IDEAS project and secretary, Institute for Education on Japan. Ms. Augustin also worked with Photoshop to enhance some of the images for use in this project (high resolution, unedited files were produced also, for archiving of the images). The collection of James Thorp's photos and written materials, such as correspondence from China, is being surveyed and cataloged by Dr. Charles Martin, professor emeritus, Department of Geology, Earlham College, working with Dr. Thomas Hamm, Earlham College archivist. The collection of Chinese art bequeathed to the college by James and Eleanor Ballard Thorp is now part of the Earlham College Permanent Art Collection, Lilly Library.

  • Thumbnail for Todaiji, Nandaimon, the Great South Gate, Nara
    Todaiji, Nandaimon, the Great South Gate, Nara

    This is a photograph of the Nandaimon, the Great South Gate, at Todaiji in Nara. Taken in early December, with mist and fog in the chilly late afternoon air, it conveys a sense of mood of time and place. It was taken from inside the outer precinct of the temple, looking out through the gate - i.e., this is the gate viewed from inside the temple compound. -- In retaliation for support of the Minamoto clan by armed monks from Todaiji, at the end of the Genpei civil war, the Taira clan burned the compound at Todaiji to the ground in 1180. When the Minamoto emerged victorious, they vowed to rebuild the Todaiji compound and did so by the end of the 12th century. -- The other buildings in the Todaiji compound have been damaged by fire or earthquakes over the centuries and most have been rebuilt in different styles. The Nandaimon, the Great South Gate, alone, remains in its original form, that which was built in the late 12th century.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 022, five-story pagoda
    Muroji, 022, five-story pagoda

    This image of the five-story pagoda shows it in its environment, which is set into the forest, on the level above the Initiation Hall. Because it is not next to another structure, which would provide a sense of scale, one is not aware of the fact that this pagoda is, in fact, perhaps the shortest pagoda in Japan, at a height of about one half of that of many other pagodas. Despite that relatively diminutive scale, it is an exceptionally graceful creation and it has been designated as a National Treasure. The pagoda, along with the kondo, is one of the two oldest buildings extant at Murõji and it probably is the older of the two, with recently discovered evidence indicating that it probably was built c. 800. Unlike the kondo, it probably has undergone little change over the millennium since its erection, and when we look at it we may well be seeing what it looked like when completed around 1,200 years ago. This particular image of the pagoda was taken in the summer of 2000, after the restoration of late 1998 - 1999. Another image, ecasia000026, was taken in 1998, before the restoration, as evidenced by the age of the painted surface. In late September, 1998, between the time of the making of those two images, a typhoon uprooted some of the massive Japanese cedars, the crytomeria trees, near the pagoda and one of the falling giants struck the roofs at the rear of the pagoda, seriously damaging them. Funds were raised immediately for a careful rebuilding, restoration of the damaged portion and the work was completed almost immediately. Image ecasia000022 shows a poster that was produced at the time of the restoration effort and image ecasia000043 shows a detail from the bottom of the poster, which includes photos of the damage and of the restoration work in progress.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 011, Mirokudo, exterior, seen from porch of the kondo
    Muroji, 011, Mirokudo, exterior, seen from porch of the kondo

    This is the Mirokudo, the Miroku Hall, also called the Maitreya Hall, at Muroji, as seen from the veranda of the kondo. The Mirokudo is a smaller hall, and later in date than the kondo, having been moved to this site from Kofukuji during the Kamakura period. It contains a main center altar and two smaller side altars. The center altar, as seen in the next image, ecasia000012, is devoted to a figure of the Miroku Bosatsu, and one of the side altars, image ecasia000013, holds the wooden carved sculpture of the Seated Shaka, an exceptional example of ninth century (early Heian) sculpture.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 004, Forbidden City from air, Beijing
    Thorp Collection 004, Forbidden City from air, Beijing

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 121, Buddha on Cliff, Kanku, Gansu.
    Thorp Collection 121, Buddha on Cliff, Kanku, Gansu.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 119, Results of famine, Village in Gansu.
    Thorp Collection 119, Results of famine, Village in Gansu.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Horyuji, view 08, Five storied pagoda and kondo, from cloister walk
    Horyuji, view 08, Five storied pagoda and kondo, from cloister walk

    A detailed view of the lower stories of the Five-storied Pagoda (and west face of the Kondo) at Horyuji, as seen from the slight turn in the cloister walk, as noted in view 07. Note, as in mentioned in view 9, that the first story of the original design has been covered with an added-on corridor surrounding the original first story. This added corridor and its slight roof partially obscure the proportions of the overall structure of the pagoda.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 171, Hillside Cultivation on Gorges.
    Thorp Collection 171, Hillside Cultivation on Gorges.

    This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing," the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Environmental Implications of Japan's Geology 17, Accessibility of natural world in traditional Japanese building style.
    Environmental Implications of Japan's Geology 17, Accessibility of natural world in traditional Japanese building style.

    Accessibility of natural world in traditional Japanese building style. -- Over the centuries the constant threat of earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods and tsunami in Japan have produced a culture that emphasizes co-existence with nature rather than the more typical Western approach of trying to overcome or modify the natural world. It is, therefore, not surprising that traditional Japanese buildings have sliding panels that can be opened to allow the outside world to merge with that inside the building. The boundary between inside and outside becomes less well defined and the inside becomes almost an extension of the natural environment.

  • Thumbnail for Japan, 1951:  Hand digging foundations, post-war reconstruction
    Japan, 1951: Hand digging foundations, post-war reconstruction

    Digging for new foundations to replace buildings destroyed during the war. The picks are brought down with powerful strokes. --This was the description to accompany this image as written by Arthur O. Rinden, the photographer. His description, which he referred to as a "script", was to accompany a slide show of the images for family and others.

  • Thumbnail for Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion
    Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavilion

    View across garden pond to Golden Pavilion, built for Yoshimitsu, 3rd Ashikaga shogun. Island in the pond in front of pavilion.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora Buddhist Caves, Chaitya Hall, ribbed ceiling
    Ellora Buddhist Caves, Chaitya Hall, ribbed ceiling

    Cave #10 demonstrates an interesting transition from chaityas constructed with wood to these rock-cut cave structures. The craftsmen sculpted these stone riblike arcs on the ceiling of the cave to resemble the curved roof supports of a wooden chaitya.

  • Thumbnail for Kailash Cave Temple, inner sanctum
    Kailash Cave Temple, inner sanctum

    This photo shows the steps leading up to the doorway of the Kailash Temple inner sanctum. In the center of the small shrine room is a large Shiva lingam and yoni positioned to allow only a single line of people to circumambulate this aniconic representation of the divine. This inner sanctum is continuously illuminated by one kerosene lamp.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora, Datta Temple, ascetic figure on roof
    Ellora, Datta Temple, ascetic figure on roof

    An ascetic figure sits atop the roof of the temple, clothed in the saffron robes that indicate his commitment to live as a brahmacarin and carrying the walking stick necessary for his life as wanderer. The sunglasses indicate that this figure was probably meant to represent a contemporary guru respected by the lineage of ascetics associated with this temple.

  • Thumbnail for Kailash Cave Temple, inner sanctum doorway
    Kailash Cave Temple, inner sanctum doorway

    This doorway leads into a small shrine room with a lingam carved in a yoni, symbol of the union of Shiva and Shakti, the divine male and female. The light of the candle, the only illumination in this inner shrine room, is visible through the doorway.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora, Jain Caves, entrance to the Mahavira shrine
    Ellora, Jain Caves, entrance to the Mahavira shrine

    This shrine to Mahavira, the 24th tirthankara, is set within a very large cave with exquisite carvings of several of the 24 tirthankaras.

  • Thumbnail for Great Wall
    Great Wall

    A photograph of a section of the Great Wall outside of Beijing.

  • Thumbnail for Eikan-do Shrine
    Eikan-do Shrine

    A building at Eikan-Do shrine in Kyoto.

  • Thumbnail for House of Representatives
    House of Representatives

    A day in the life of the Diet. The House of Representatives meets in Japan.

  • Thumbnail for Tiger Hill Pagoda
    Tiger Hill Pagoda

    Also known as Yunyan Temple Pagoda, this pagoda on Tiger Hill is the oldest pagoda in Suzhou and is composed of seven stories.