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  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Fudo image
    Hasedera - Fudo image

    An image of the fierce-looking protective deity Fudo-myo-o enshrined within the temple in cocrejpn0030.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Kannon statue
    Hasedera - Kannon statue

    Kannon image in main hall.

  • Thumbnail for Memorial for Employees of Nissan Motor Company
    Memorial for Employees of Nissan Motor Company

    This gravesite is dedicated to the deceased employees of Nissan Motor Company.

  • Thumbnail for Jizo statues
    Jizo statues

    Just two of thousands of these little statues along the path to Okunoin.

  • Thumbnail for Hall of lights
    Hall of lights

    This newer structure, adjacent to the mausoleum, houses thousands of lamps donated by faithful in memory of their loved ones. The hall surpasses in scale, but perhaps not in grace, the mound of statues to the right dedicated to the spirits of the unremembered.

  • Thumbnail for Mound of Buddhas
    Mound of Buddhas

    This is the same mound in other photos viewed here from a distance.

  • Thumbnail for Great Buddha (Daibutsu)  at Kamakura
    Great Buddha (Daibutsu) at Kamakura

    The great statue of the Amida Buddha at Kamakura, cast in 1252. This image gives a good sense of the physical context in which one sees the sculpture today.

  • Thumbnail for Great Buddha statue at Kamakura
    Great Buddha statue at Kamakura

    The Great Buddha (Daibutsu) at Kamakura, a representation of Amida Buddha, was cast in 1252. The wooden building that surrounded it was swept away by a tidal wave, but the figure of the Buddha was unharmed and it has withstood repeated earthquakes, fires, and other calamities. It is 13.5 m (about 44 feet) high, making it the second largest statue of the Buddha in Japan, after the Daibutsu of Todaiji, Nara. Built without imperial or shogunal support, completed entirely with donations from the faithful, it is all the more impressive in its heroic scale.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 012,  Mirokudo, interior view, center altar
    Muroji, 012, Mirokudo, interior view, center altar

    This image shows the center altar in the Miroku Hall at Muroji. The sculpture on the altar is a carved wooden figure of the Miroku Bosatsu, a sculpture that is perhaps 3 feet high, dating from the 8th century. Dr. Fowler points out that this sculpture almost certainly was not the original sculpture on the center altar, which would have been a figure of the Miroku Buddha, rather than a bosatsu. -- Although some of the ritual objects in Buddhist temples vary somewhat from one sect to another, some objects are used in all sects. In this image we see the cushion on which the celebrant would sit in formal Japanese sitting posture, knees bent, sitting on the ankles. The rounded bronze object to the right is a "bell," with its open end at the top; it is struck on the outside with a padded stick, which produces the rich, resonant sound that accompanies and punctuates Buddhist chants. Also evident are three items found at all Buddhists altars, namely, flowers, incense, and light (candles). Often, as here, there also are offerings of fruit.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 002, relief carving of Miroku Buddha on bluff above the Muro River, detail
    Muroji, 002, relief carving of Miroku Buddha on bluff above the Muro River, detail

    This enlarged version of part of the image in file no. ecasia000001.jpg shows some of the lines engraved in the stone to depict an image of the Miroku Buddha. Again, the carving dates from 1207 or 1208, and is along the bank of the Muro River, along the approach to Muroji. The pattern of parallel curved lines in the image is stylistically interesting and might be compared with the linear pattern of the robe folds in the sculpture that is the central image in the kondo at Muroji, a sculpture that dates from the Heian period (image I.D. ecasia000007.jpg) or with the sculpture of the seated Shaka (ecasia000012.jpg), from the Mirokudo, Muroji, which dates from early Heian period.

  • Thumbnail for Byodoin, Amida Buddha, view 2
    Byodoin, Amida Buddha, view 2 by Jocho (Joochoo)

    Again, the Amida figure in the Hoodo, Byodoin, as seen at eye level. This image shows some of the apsara figures, high relief wood carvings, that are on the walls above and around the Amida figure. Also, in the lower left, the altar in front ot the Amida, with its symbolic offerings to the Buddha.

  • Thumbnail for Parinirvana of the Buddha, cave 26 (close up)
    Parinirvana of the Buddha, cave 26 (close up)

    A close up of the head of the Buddha at his parinirvana, reclining peacefully on an ornate pillow, with his face toward his disciples and followers.

  • Thumbnail for Auspicious figures on cave doorway, woman in Tribunga pose under tree
    Auspicious figures on cave doorway, woman in Tribunga pose under tree

    This female yakshi represents the auspicious fertility of the earth as she stands under the canopy of a fruit-laden tree, possibly mango. Auspicious symbols surround the entranceways to the caves, making these caves also auspcious places to dwell.

  • Thumbnail for Kailash Cave Temple, amorous couples series
    Kailash Cave Temple, amorous couples series

    This depiction of a series of amorous couples in different poses brings the fertility and good fortune they represent into the minds of all who see them.

  • Thumbnail for Kailash Cave Temple, painted Shiva Nataraj
    Kailash Cave Temple, painted Shiva Nataraj

    A brightly painted image on an inside pillar in the area outside the inner sanctum presents a lively image of the dancing Shiva Nataraj. In some parts of the temple, the ancient pigments seem to have been preserved, probably due to their placement in areas protected from the elements.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora, Datta Temple, Linga between bull horns
    Ellora, Datta Temple, Linga between bull horns

    On a pillar of the temple, a lingam sits between the horns of a bull.

  • Thumbnail for Leshan Buddha
    Leshan Buddha

    Photo of the largest buddha in China, overlooking the confluence of two rivers in Leshan, Sichuan.

  • Thumbnail for Kailash Cave Temple, Bhagiratha's Penance
    Kailash Cave Temple, Bhagiratha's Penance

    This wall sculpture tells the story of Bhagiratha who practiced penance for eons to purify the sins of his ancestors.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora, Jain Caves, tirthankara with animals
    Ellora, Jain Caves, tirthankara with animals

    Demonstrating the Jain practice of non-violence, this tirthankara is depicted with animals and insects at his feet. Near his right leg is a scorpion. Refusing to take life, even in microscopic forms, to make cloth, he lives throughout the year as a "digambara" monk, clothing himself with the sky. Bits of ancient red paint remain on this figure.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora, Jain Temple, Parshvanatha detail, close-up
    Ellora, Jain Temple, Parshvanatha detail, close-up

    Underneath the tirthankara, Parshvanatha, is another image of himself over a chakra. At the foot of the image are lions, elephants, and his protective yaksha and yakshini, all positioned in perfect symmetry.

  • Thumbnail for Jade Bok Choy
    Jade Bok Choy

    A carved jade bok choy (cabbage) in white and green jade.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora, Jain Caves, yaksha guardian
    Ellora, Jain Caves, yaksha guardian

    All tirthankaras are depicted with a yaksha (male earth spirit) and yakshini (female). This yaksha, probably Matanga who is associated with Mahavira, guards one side of a large balcony entrance to the cave's expansive second floor with a central Mahavira shrine. On the other side of the balcony entrance is his female counterpart, the yakshini, Siddhayika. The yaksha, a powerful earth deity, sits on the strong elephant who acts as his throne. This yaksha is framed by a canopy formed by the leaves of a lush tree.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora, Jain Caves, Yaksha's elephant seat
    Ellora, Jain Caves, Yaksha's elephant seat

    The yaksha guardian, Matanga, sits on a grand elephant who has knelt to offer his back as a seat for the yaksha. The sculptor has placed a lotus bud in the trunk of the elephant to show his docile nature in the presence of this yaksha protector.

  • Thumbnail for Yishan Yining Zen Priest
    Yishan Yining Zen Priest

    Yishan Yining (1237-1317), known in Japan as Issan Kokushi (National Teacher), was an erudite priest of Chinese Rinzai Zen Buddhism who came to Japan in 1299 CE. This portrait of him is made of polychromed wood using Japanese cypress.

  • Thumbnail for Sitting Buddha diagram
    Sitting Buddha diagram

    Exlanation of a cross-legged, sitting Buddha sculpture.