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  • Thumbnail for Motsuji, pond garden, Hiraizumi, view 2
    Motsuji, pond garden, Hiraizumi, view 2

    View across the pond of the garden at the site of the Heian temple at Hiraizumi, Motsuji. All that remains of the original temple at Motsuji are its foundation stones, but the pond is essentially as it was when built. During the last half of the 20th c., centuries of silt build-up were removed from the pond and from the stream bed feeding the pond, returning the pond to its original form. This view is from the northeastern bank of the pond, looking to the east. Recent research suggests that the stones that are layered along the bank of the pond here were brought a great distance to be placed here, perhaps from the shore of the Inland Sea.

  • Thumbnail for Motsuji, pond garden, Hiraizumi, view 3
    Motsuji, pond garden, Hiraizumi, view 3

    View across the pond of the garden at the site of the Heian temple at Hiraizumi, Motsuji. This view is from the east - southeast bank of the pond, looking across the spit of land that curls out into the pond. The pond is, of course, artificial, i.e., it is a manmade construction. From that point of view, this peninsula of earth reaching out into the pond becomes as an interesting, deliberate sculptural form and, perhaps, invites comparison with other forms of earthworks created by artists at various times and places in human history.

  • Thumbnail for Motsuji, pond garden, Hiraizumi, view 4
    Motsuji, pond garden, Hiraizumi, view 4

    View across the pond of the garden at the site of the Heian temple at Hiraizumi, Motsuji This view is from the north side of the pond, looking south across the pond. Across the pond, on the south side, is the group of rocks seen in view 1., including the small island with its strong vertical rock element.