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3808 hits

  • Thumbnail for Crowning ceremony
    Crowning ceremony

    Scene inside Sundaresvara shrine, during crowning ceremony. Most of the ceremony cannot be seen by most onlookers, as this photograph reflects.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; view from just inside entryway to shrine; Keywords: sundaresvara, crowning

  • Thumbnail for Jnanasambandar
    Jnanasambandar

    Jnanasambandar image, before 6th evening procession. On the 6th evening, the great Tamil devotees (nayanmar) of Siva are recognized.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; East Adi Street, near elephant stables; Keywords: nayanmars

  • Thumbnail for Siva's gold purse
    Siva's gold purse

    Siva's gold purse, carried in palanquin around the temple. The gold purse is part of the 3rd day lila.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; gold-purse, in palanquin, in small procession on Chittrai Street.; Keywords: processions, lilas

  • Thumbnail for Sundaresvara on Kailasa Vehicle
    Sundaresvara on Kailasa Vehicle

    Siva Sundaresvara on Kailasa vehicle, 3th evening procession; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Sundaresvara on Kailasa (Ravananugraha) vehicle, 3rd evening procession; Keywords: sundaresvara, vehicles, processions

  • Thumbnail for Minaksi digvijaya
    Minaksi digvijaya

    Wall painting of Minaksi's Conquest of the Directions, inside temple; Minaksi temple; Uncompleted wall-painting, in corridor north of Golden Lotus Tank, inside temple complex; Keywords: deities, minaksi, paintings

  • Thumbnail for Minaksi coming out of temple gate
    Minaksi coming out of temple gate

    Minaksi comes out from temple gate, 6th evening procession; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: minaksi, priests, processions

  • Thumbnail for Shinto shrine, Yamagishi neighborhood, small shrine on the side of a street
    Shinto shrine, Yamagishi neighborhood, small shrine on the side of a street

    The torii gate on the left in this image marks the presence of a shrine and its kami. Such shrines by the side of a street or a road (or in the middle of a field, or elsewhere) are common in Japan. This particular one is on a quiet back street in the Yamagishi neighborhood of Morioka. Throughout the day, passing residents stop at the shrine, bowing twice and clapping their hands twice, to summon the attention of the kami, then standing quietly with clasped hands and head bowed in prayer or in thanksgiving. -- The stone torii on the right marks the path that leads up the stone stairs to a shrine at the top of the hill, overlooking the Yamagishi district.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 023, five-story pagoda,  sorin, detail
    Muroji, 023, five-story pagoda, sorin, detail

    The rising form of a pagoda is seen as a symbolic statement of human aspiration, a path, a joining of this world and the world of the absolute. The metal spire that rises from the top roof of the pagoda is called the sorin. The shaft of the sorin is surrounded by nine rings and at the very top is the hoshu, representing the sacred jewel of Buddhist wisdom. The pagoda, often a memorial to a saintly person, is a Chinese adaptation of the Indian stupa.

  • Thumbnail for Siva's gold purse
    Siva's gold purse

    Siva's gold purse, displayed by Ramani, carried in palanquin around temple. The Executive Officer of the temple, B. Raja, stands to the left.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Ramani (priest) holds up Siva's gold purse (polkiri), E.O. Mr. Raja to left; taken outside west gopuram as purse made procession on Chittrai Street. Tiruvilaiyatal no. 52.; Keywords: processions, lilas

  • Thumbnail for Manikkavacakar of Tiruvathavur decorated
    Manikkavacakar of Tiruvathavur decorated

    Manikkavacakar of Tiruvathavur, decorated for 8th evening procession. The image of Manikkavacakar travels from his temple ten miles away to participate in the festival events.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; in Kalyana-mandapa, waiting for procession to begin; Keywords: nayanmars, decoration

  • Thumbnail for Subrahmanya of Tirupparankundram
    Subrahmanya of Tirupparankundram

    Subrahmanya of Tirupparankundram, decorated for 8th evening procession. The Subrahmanyam image has also come from its home temple, on the outskirts of greater Madurai, to take part in the festival.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: subrahmanya, decoration, tirupparankundram

  • Thumbnail for Priests afix Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle
    Priests afix Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle

    Priests place prabha (ornamental arch) over Siva Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle, completing decorations for processio; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: sundaresvara, vehicles, priests, decoration

  • Thumbnail for Deities in Seven-color vehicle, in Kalyanamandapa
    Deities in Seven-color vehicle, in Kalyanamandapa

    Deities in Seven-color Vehicle, in Kalyana Mandapa, prior to start of 11th evening procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; prior to 11th evening procession; Keywords: deities, vehicles

  • Thumbnail for Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle
    Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle

    Siva Sundaresvara on Golden Horse vehicle.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: sundaresvara, vehicles

  • Thumbnail for Temple Shops
    Temple Shops

    Shops in Minaksi temple complex, along Viravasantaraya Mandapa passageway on east side of temple complex.; Minaksi temple; Keywords: temple

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 034, Hall for Memorial Tablets, interior
    Muroji, 034, Hall for Memorial Tablets, interior

    This image shows the interior of the Hall for Memorial Tablets, the Hall of Eternal Light, at Muroji, built in the early 20th century. A monthly memorial service for Kukai is held here and memorial services for residents of the local village are celebrated here. -- The different traditions of Buddhism, such as esoteric Buddhism or Pure Land, as well as different schools, such as Tendai and Shingon, sometimes employ differing ritual objects in their ceremonies, objects that have grown out of differing historic traditions, some based in very ancient Indian rituals, some in Tibetan Buddhism, etc. Nonetheless, in this image we can see ritual objects that are common across various schools. These include, most basically, before the altar, an incense burner, candlesticks, and flower vases, objects found before any Buddhist altar, including home altars. Other objects seen here and common across traditions include the "bell" on the right, struck to announce the opening of services, the square area for the celebrants defined by the low railing, the canopies (often stylized lotus blossoms constructed of wood or metal) or banners over altars and images, small square tables flanking the cushion of the celebrant, tables used to hold ritual objects or offerings, a low table directly in front of the celebrant that may hold offerings and serve as sutra lectern. To the right here we see part of the rim of a taiko, a large, powerful drum, one of a variety of musical instruments often employed in ceremonies.

  • Thumbnail for Shinto shrine, Yamagishi neighborhood in Morioka
    Shinto shrine, Yamagishi neighborhood in Morioka

    This is a small, local shrine on a hillside above the Yamagishi neighborhood of Morioka. -- Many of the elements seen here are common to all shrines. The two sculptures are koma inu, shrine dogs -- guardian figures. In this instance, they are foxes, indicating that this is an inari shrine, one associated with the kami of rice. Other shrines often have guardian figures that closely resemble the mythological beasts known as Chinese lions, or semi-human figures that reflect the Nio statues of Buddhist temple gates. Along with the red paint evident at this particular shrine, these are elements indicative of the merging of elements of Shinto and Buddhism. E.g., indigenous Shinto preference probably would be for unpainted wood, such as is seen at the shrine at Ise, and the red paint here is probably indicative of the influence of Chinese and Korean Buddhist architecture. -- The rice straw rope and its zig-zags of folded paper denote the place where a kami , a spirit, resides. The cloth pulls hanging down in front of the rice straw rope have bells attached at their top - one would pull on the cloth or rope pulls to produce a sound in the bells to summon the attention of the kami, in order to offer a prayer or give thanks.

  • 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 Shinto shrine, Shichigosan Day, children are brought to the local shrine
    Shinto shrine, Shichigosan Day, children are brought to the local shrine

    The children here are arriving at a shrine in late October for the celebration of Shichigosan -- Seven - five - three Day. On this day, girls who are seven or three years old and boys who are five are brought to their shrine in their best dress or in traditional dress for prayers for their well being, for a blessing. -- This particular Shichigosan celebration was on October 28, 2000, and was at the Hachiman Shrine in Morioka. The Hachiman Shrine is the primary Shinto shrine of Morioka, which is in Iwate Prefecture, on the Pacific side of northern most Honshu.

  • 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 Shinto shrine, an infant is brought to the local shrine for a birth ritual
    Shinto shrine, an infant is brought to the local shrine for a birth ritual

    When an infant is one month old, it is taken by its parents to the local shrine for miyamairi, a birth ritual. By this ritual, the infant becomes a member of the shrine and is placing under the protection of the kami, the guardian spirit of the shrine. Traditionally, this is an infant's first trip out of its home.

  • Thumbnail for Byodoin, Hoodo, the Phoenix Hall, at Uji
    Byodoin, Hoodo, the Phoenix Hall, at Uji

    The so-called Phoenix Hall at the temple, Byodoin, in Uji. Built in 1053 by Fujiwara Yorimichi, the Phoenix Hall contains the Amida sculpture carved by Jocho, and the compound attempts to represent on earth the western paradise of Pure Land Buddhism. This image shows the Amida Hall as seen from directly across the pond directly in front of the hall. Because of the placement of the pond, the hall cannot be approached directly from the front, perhaps a physical assertion of the Heian aesthetic preference for indirection.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 035, Hall for Memorial Tablets, view from the porch at side of Hall
    Muroji, 035, Hall for Memorial Tablets, view from the porch at side of Hall

    This is a view looking down the mountain path from the porch of the Hall of Eternal Light. The image conveys a sense of the quiet beauty of the temple's isolated location in a crytomeria forest, in the mountains of Nara Prefecture, southeast of Nara City.

  • Thumbnail for School computer classroom, middle school
    School computer classroom, middle school

    This is the computer classroom in a middle school in Japan. The computers are used to complete assignments from other classes, as well as for instruction in computer class, per se, so that the students are learning to employ computers across the curriculum.

  • 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.