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  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Kannon statue
    Hasedera - Kannon statue

    This is an infrared photo of the tall Kannon image of the main hall.

  • Thumbnail for Hasedera - Fudo image
    Hasedera - Fudo image

    Statue of Fudo Myo-o within sub-temple.

  • Thumbnail for Kannon statue in forest
    Kannon statue in forest

    Along the path to Okunoin are many graceful statues. This one is of the bodhisattva of compassion Kannon (Kuan-yin in China). It looks almost as if it were a curving tree itself.

  • 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 Statue along path just before mausoleum
    Statue along path just before mausoleum

    This is the statue to the right of the path visible in cocrejpn0193.

  • Thumbnail for Jizo statues
    Jizo statues

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

  • Thumbnail for Kannon and Jizo
    Kannon and Jizo

    This is the same statue as in cocrejpn0183.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 010,  kondo, central altar sculpture, Standing Shaka
    Muroji, 010, kondo, central altar sculpture, Standing Shaka

    The interior of the kondo, the Golden Hall, at Muroji includes a central area surrounded all around by a corridor. The central area, called the moya, contains an altar with five standing statues. In front of the altar figures are smaller carvings of the twelve generals, attendants of the Yakushi Buddha. The statue shown in this image is the central figure on the altar and represents the Shaka or the Yakushi Buddha. The figure, a large wooden sculpture (perhaps 7 1/2 feet tal), l is an outstanding example of early Heian sculpture, from the mid-ninth century, with traits such as the fullness of the cheeks, the separate coils of the curls in the hair, the sharp division of chest and abdomen, the use of many repeated parallel folds in the carving of the robe, and the overall solemnity of expression. Also noteworthy here is the painted aureole behind the Shaka, which is well preserved and presents images of the seven Buddhas of the past and present world cycles.

  • 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 Thorp Collection 136, Buddha-Loyang.
    Thorp Collection 136, Buddha-Loyang.

    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 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 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 Haniwa house with hipped and gable roof
    Haniwa house with hipped and gable roof

    This is a haniwa, an earthenware clay object associated with the burial mounds of the Kansai region. The form of the roof, soaring up and out at the ends, is typical of many haniwa representations of dwellings of the period. -- Important as an artifact, in and of itself, the sweep of the contour of the roof in this example also calls to mind the shape of the cenotaph at Hiroshima. The cenotaph probably was created in this form to create an association with haniwa and with the ideas of home and shelter.

  • Thumbnail for Sarasvati
    Sarasvati

    Information provided by the museum label states, "The religion of Jainism has existed since the fifth century B.C. Like other faiths in India, it teaches that an ultimate goal in life is to seek release from continual rebirth; it also, however, stresses individual responsibility in this process. Jainism honors a large pantheon of deities and supportive beings, many of which are borrowed from Hinduism and Buddhism. "The image of Sarasvati, a goddess respected by both Hindus and Jains, once stood in a Jain temple in India. She sits displaying vara mudra (the gesture of charity) with her left hand. In her right hand she carries a book; in her upper-left and right hands she holds a festooned noose and an elephant goad, attributes normally associated with the elephant-headed god Ganesha. He and Saravati are usually invoked together before beginning literary enterprises." -- India, Karnataka -- Gray chloritic schist -- Coll. Art Institute of Chicago (James W. and Marilynn Alsdorf Collection, 224.1997)

  • Thumbnail for Bodhisattva figure
    Bodhisattva figure

    Bodhisattva figures adorn the outer walls of the caves. These bodhisattva figures represent the ideal of leaving one's family, wealth, and social standing to take up the life of a wandering Buddhist mendicant seeking enlightenment

  • Thumbnail for Buddha seated in teaching pose
    Buddha seated in teaching pose

    Seated in a throne-like setting, the Buddha is depicted with his hands in the teaching pose. His feet rest on a lotus, symbol of enlightenment, and supernatural beings are carved around him, ostensibly also attending to his teachings. The throne was constructed in the shape of a stupa within the cave, with ample room around it for monks and pilgrims to circumambulate the image.

  • Thumbnail for Auspicious figures on cave doorway, amorous couple (detail)
    Auspicious figures on cave doorway, amorous couple (detail)

    Around the entranceways to the caves are figures of amorous couples symbolizing the good fortune of fertility and happiness. Sitting comfortably with the bodies touching, the woman leans against her partner's knee, while he reaches to stroke her face. Lotuses frame the scene.

  • 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, gray Makara
    Ellora, Datta Temple, gray Makara

    On a pillar of the temple is this gray makara, a mythical aquatic beast associated with the Ganges gharial, a species of crocodile. The makara is associated with Kamadeva, god of desire, as well as the goddess Ganga and the Vedic god of the sea, Varuna.

  • Thumbnail for Kailash Cave Temple, amorous couple 1
    Kailash Cave Temple, amorous couple 1

    Auspicious figures of amorous couples in small stone niches adorn the magnificent Kailash Cave Temple, cave #16 in the series of Ellora Caves. These figures represent fertility and good fortune for all who see them.

  • Thumbnail for Kailash Cave Temple, Manu Stambha
    Kailash Cave Temple, Manu Stambha

    The Manu Stambha stands just inside the temple courtyard.

  • Thumbnail for Ellora, Jain Caves, Mahavira
    Ellora, Jain Caves, Mahavira

    Mahavira, the 24th Jain tirthankara, is depicted in a seated position with back straight and eyes lowered under a double canopy. Stylized lions are at his feet.

  • 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 Sitting Buddha diagram
    Sitting Buddha diagram

    Exlanation of a cross-legged, sitting Buddha sculpture.

  • Thumbnail for Nirvana of the Buddha
    Nirvana of the Buddha

    Sakyamuni entered into final Nirvana just outside the city of Kusinagara lying on his left side, as if asleep, under a pair of Sala trees. The Mahaparinirvana sutra relates the events before and after the historical Buddha's death. In attendance were his disciples, as well as the Eight Classes of Divine Protector of the Buddhist Faith and numerous Bodhisattvas, who sat quietly at the Buddha's side. The Buddha's followers below are the only one's outwardly grieving.