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  • Thumbnail for Reconstruction of a wall in the forest
    Reconstruction of a wall in the forest

    Many of the centuries-old structures in the forest enroute to Okunoin are crumbling. Some of the more prominent ones close to the pathway are being restored.

  • Thumbnail for View from portico of Garan building
    View from portico of Garan building

    This is the view from the portico of one of the old temple structures along the path toward the center of the Garan. In the distance is the large Lecture Hall, and to the left is the oldest standing structure, the Fudo Hall, which dates from the 12th century.

  • Thumbnail for Raffles Hotel
    Raffles Hotel

    Diners in the courtyard of the famous Raffles Hotel.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 009,  kondo, exterior, architectural detail
    Muroji, 009, kondo, exterior, architectural detail

    Muroji, kondo, exterior, architectural detail The kondo at Muroji, built in the early Heian period, still reflects much of its original character and feeling, although it also has been repaired and changed many times over the past millennium since its construction. In this image of the end of the kondo, we can see clearly what was the original middle point of the end wall, with a pillar at the center of the wall. Originally the ridge of the roof would have been directly above this point but, as we can see here, the ridge of the roof is now to the right of the middle pillar of the end wall. This shift occurred during the Kamakura period, when an extra bay was added across the front of the kondo to create a worship space, and a veranda was extended off the outside of that bay. These additions disrupted the symmetry of the original structure and necessitated the addition of a curious element to the front side of the roof, shown clearly in the previous image, Muroji, 008 (ecasia000011).

  • Thumbnail for Byodoin, Hoodo, the Phoenix  Hall,  front exterior
    Byodoin, Hoodo, the Phoenix Hall, front exterior

    This photo of the Phoenix Hall at Byodoin shows the front of the hall, seen from across the pond in front of the hall. A gray day in early December with a light drizzle falling, the photo may not reveal much of the architectural detail on the hall, but it does capture a sense of the feeling of time and place in late autumn. On the right side on the photo is a bridge painted with brilliant vermillion, in stark constrast to the weathered paint of the Hoodo, proper. The bridge was, at the time of the photograph (December, 2000), a very recent construction, having been completed sometime during the fall, 2000, part of an attempt to reconstruct all elements of the compound with historical accuracy.. The Hoodo was completed in 1053, during the Heian period. It was built by Fujiwara Yorimichi, a major figure in the powerful Fujiwara clan.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 056, Pagoda, Nanjing, Jiangsu
    Thorp Collection 056, Pagoda, Nanjing, Jiangsu

    Thorp Collection, Pagoda, Nanjing, Jiangsu. 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.

  • Thumbnail for Byodoin, Hoodo, the Phoenix Hall, roof detail
    Byodoin, Hoodo, the Phoenix Hall, roof detail

    A detail photograph of the roof of the Phoenix Hall, the Hoodo, at Byodoin, Uji. It shows one of the phoenix figures, but is, mainly, a dramatic photograph...

  • Thumbnail for Horyuji, view 11, cloister walk, west side of compound at turn for sutra repository
    Horyuji, view 11, cloister walk, west side of compound at turn for sutra repository

    A pleasant image. Afternoon sun casting a pattern of light and shadow through the wooden grill work of the western wall of the walk surrounding the compound at Horyuji,looking northward at the point at which the image in view 7 was taken.

  • Thumbnail for Horyuji, view 09, five story pagoda, exterior from north
    Horyuji, view 09, five story pagoda, exterior from north

    The Five-storied pagoda at Horyuji is an original structure remaining from the late 7th c., when the compound at Horyuji was built. The ground floor of the Horyuji pagoda is surrounded by a narrow corridor with a slight roof covering it. This corridor and its roof, not part of the original structure, hide the proportional relationship of the original ground story and the top story of the pagoda -- the width of the top story is one half that of the ground story; the intermediate stories step in in equal amounts as we move from one to the next. The result of this stepping-in is a visual sense of soaring and lightness as the pagoda rises, creating a sense of elegance and a perception, illusion, of great height. -- The famous tableau of the death of the Buddha and the tableau of the Yuima-Monju debate, sculpted in clay in the early 8th c., are in the ground story of the Five-storied Pagoda. [c. 711, early Nara period (Tenpyo)]

  • Thumbnail for Byodoin, Amida Buddha, view 1
    Byodoin, Amida Buddha, view 1 by Jocho (Joochoo)

    The Amida figure in the Hoodo, the so-called Phoenix Hall, at Byodoin was created by the master sculptor, Jocho. Expressive of the spirit ofthe Pure Land sect and the spirit of its time, it is quiet, meditative, approachable sculpture, just as the Hoodo, itself, is approachable because it was built on a human scale. -- The sculpture is carved wood with gold leaf. It was carved from several blocks of wood joined together, a revolutionary and very important technique developed by Jocho and his studio. -- Behind the figure of the contemplative Amida is a large, flowing aureole, flame-like, with apsaras floating on clouds. Overhead is an elaborate canopy of carved lattice work. -- The dimensions of the hall containing the figure are relatively small, which brings the viewer into close proximity with the Amida sculpture, engendering a sense of an intimate environment, rather than a sense of the deity figure being far removed from us and our aspirations. -- Note that this image of the Byodoin Amida (and view 2, as well) were photographed at eye level, as one experiences them in the Phoenix Hall. Many art history texts present an image from an excellent but different point of view, that of being several feet above the floor on a ladder or platform, which is not how the Amida would be seen by a worshipper.

  • Thumbnail for Horyuji, view 04, Kondo, detail, roof and bracketing
    Horyuji, view 04, Kondo, detail, roof and bracketing

    Detail of support and bracketing at southwest corner of the kondo at Horyuji, second story roof.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 199, Tafrtze Buddha (85 ft.) Chinese Shaanxi.
    Thorp Collection 199, Tafrtze Buddha (85 ft.) Chinese Shaanxi.

    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 170, Kungling Gorge Rapids.
    Thorp Collection 170, Kungling Gorge Rapids.

    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 161, Temple Gate N. of Yichang.
    Thorp Collection 161, Temple Gate N. of Yichang.

    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 164, No Title.
    Thorp Collection 164, No Title.

    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 142, Camphor tree in bank, Hengchow, Hunan.
    Thorp Collection 142, Camphor tree in bank, Hengchow, Hunan.

    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 Daibutsuden, the Great Buddha Hall, at Todaiji, Nara, a video tour
    Daibutsuden, the Great Buddha Hall, at Todaiji, Nara, a video tour

    This movie presents a walk through the Daibutsuden, the Great Buddha Hall, at the temple, Todaiji, in Nara, Japan. The video is approximately 10 minutes long and is comprised of 7 minutes of a walking tour through the Daibutsuden, with ambient sound, but no narration, and concludes with 3 minutes of scrolling text narrative. Created in mini-DV format, it is presented here as a QuickTime movie, compressed to CD-ROM quality. Depending upon your set-up, the video may open directly on your screen or it may be downloaded to your desktop. Download in either case normally may take from 3 to 5 minutes, although it may take longer if you are working with a slow connection.

  • Thumbnail for Ginkakuji, exterior and garden, composition in garden view, 1998
    Ginkakuji, exterior and garden, composition in garden view, 1998

    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.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora Buddhist Caves, Chaitya Hall entrance, far view
    Ellora Buddhist Caves, Chaitya Hall entrance, far view

    This Chaitya Hall or place of assembly for monks and pilgrims is adorned with figures of amorous couples across the top, gandharvas and apsaras over the balcony doorway, and bodhisattvas at door level. All of these figures are auspicious symbols, appropriately adorning a place of religious practice. A popular destination for school field trips, children learn about the early history of these sites.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora, Datta Temple
    Ellora, Datta Temple

    Datta, a combination of Vishnu, Brahma, and Siva, is a god most familiar in Maharashtra. While most Hindu temples display images of various gods and goddesses throughout, as does this temple, this Datta Temple places all three gods in its innermost shrine, reserved for the primary deity of the temple. The ancient sacred Sanskrit syllable, AUM, is placed above the doorway to the inner sanctum. The intense orange-yellow color dominating the temple assoicates with ascetic practices.

  • Thumbnail for Shrine on the Island of Miyajima
    Shrine on the Island of Miyajima

    Central to Shinto is the belief in divine begins (kami) which traditionally inhabit heaven and earth. Divine status is attached to anything which is striking, elevated and beautiful or possesses outstanding qualities: in brief, anything which awakens a sense of awe. In this way, things of natural beauty, mountains and seas, human beings, plants and animals can become gods. Symbols of every Shinto shrine are the gateways (torii), which in their simplest form are two pillars topped by a cross beam.

  • Thumbnail for Shrine Roof with Flag
    Shrine Roof with Flag

    The Japanese flag waves proudly from the roof of a shrine in Nagasaki.

  • 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.

  • Thumbnail for Roof Detail
    Roof Detail

    Detail of the tiled roofline at the Meiji Shrine.

  • Thumbnail for Old Fashioned Way
    Old Fashioned Way

    Around the turn of the century, farmers continued to thatch their roofs despite the modern structures that were being erected in the cities.