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  • 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 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 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, 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 Noh stage, National Theatre, Tokyo
    Noh stage, National Theatre, Tokyo

    This is the Noh stage at the National Theatre in Tokyo, photographed after a performance in December, 2000. Off to the left, out of the photo here, is the bridge, the hashigakari , along which the actors (rarely more than three) enter the stage and exit the stage. Constructed of unpainted wood, probably hinoki cypress, without curtains or scenery, the stage design is rooted in the utter simplicity of Ashikaga aesthetics, which was, of course, extraordinarily sophisticated in its focus on essences. This type of simplicity is very difficult to achieve, as any artist will attest to. -- All noh stages are identical in size and configuration and all have only one permanent element of decoration -- the pine tree on the back wall of the stage, seen also, e.g., at the noh stage at Hiraizumi (image ecasia000005).

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 036,  Founder's Portrait Hall
    Muroji, 036, Founder's Portrait Hall

    Next to the Hall for Memorial Tablets is a Founder's Portrait Hall, a 14th century memorial to the 8th century priest, Kukai. Kukai had traveled to China, where he studied under a great Chinese master, Huiguo. Kukai was named the successor to Huiguo, but instead of remaining in China, he returned to Japan, where he founded the Shingon school of esoteric Buddhism. He was intimately tied to the history of the great complex at Mt. Koya and to the history of Muroji. On the hill behind the Founder's Hall is a seven-story stone stupa, said to mark the secluded spot to which Kukai came to sit.½he Portrait Hall, itself, contains a wooden sculpture of Kukai as an object of veneration.

  • Thumbnail for Magazines in bookstore section of a super-store
    Magazines in bookstore section of a super-store

    This section of the magazine rack in a new super-store features offerings for female adolescents. Interestingly, a number of the titles are in English, including magazines titled, Wink Up, Kitty Goods, and Ego system. The color schemes employed in the magazine covers are interesting, also, as reflections of colors seen elsewhere in contemporary Japanese culture.

  • Thumbnail for Jizo statues at a temple in Kamakura
    Jizo statues at a temple in Kamakura

    A Jizo is a Buddhist bodhisattva (bosatsu) who is the guardian of the souls of children who have died, as young children or in birth. Persons wishing to offer a prayer for the care of a child often bring a bib or apron or cap to dress one of the Jizo statues, as they ask that it care for the soul of the child in their prayers. These rows of Jizo figures are at the temple, Hasedera, where there is a hall dedicated to Jizo.

  • Thumbnail for Printed fortune cabinet at a temple
    Printed fortune cabinet at a temple

    For a donation of 100 yen, one may obtain a printed fortune, an omikuji . The black case contains a collection of sticks, each with a number on it. There is a small hole in the lid of the case. One would pick up the case, shake it to mix up the sticks, then turn the case upside down and shake one stick out through the hole in the lid. The number on that stick would direct one to one of the numbered drawers in the cabinet next to the table, where one would find one's fortune. A good fortune may be tied to a line, in effect, as a prayer to the deity of the shrine or temple, seeking their aid in bringing the fortune true. Very commonly seen at shrines, this particular cabinet is at Muroji, a Buddhist temple. Keywords: omikuji see also: ecasia000037

  • Thumbnail for Shinto shrine, Yamagishi neighborhood in Morioka, view from the front of the shrine
    Shinto shrine, Yamagishi neighborhood in Morioka, view from the front of the shrine

    As described in the previous image (ecasia000066) there is a local Shinto shrine on the hillside overlooking the Yamagishi district of the city of Morioka. This is a view front in front of the shrine, looking out across the neighborhood below.

  • 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 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 046, effect of salt on cotton, E. Jiangsu
    Thorp Collection 046, effect of salt on cotton, E. Jiangsu

    Effect of salt on cotton, E. 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, the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 045, salt, E. Jiangsu
    Thorp Collection 045, salt, E. Jiangsu

    Salt, E. 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, the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • 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 Thorp Collection 042, waterfall between Chongqing-Chendu
    Thorp Collection 042, waterfall between Chongqing-Chendu

    Waterfall between Chongqing-Chendu. 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, the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 032, waterfall, Chongqing-Chengdu
    Thorp Collection 032, waterfall, Chongqing-Chengdu

    Waterfall, Chongqing-Chengdu. 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, the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • 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 Thorp Collection 028, small hills, valleys, S.W. Loujiang, Sichuan
    Thorp Collection 028, small hills, valleys, S.W. Loujiang, Sichuan

    Small hills, valleys, S.W. Loujiang, Sichuan. 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, the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • 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 Thorp Collection 044, tung oil and winter wheat, Lungkan, Sichuan
    Thorp Collection 044, tung oil and winter wheat, Lungkan, Sichuan

    Tung oil and winter wheat, Lungkan, Sichuan. 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, the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Tamba pottery, view 10., view from interior of Ichino workshop, looking out at kiln
    Tamba pottery, view 10., view from interior of Ichino workshop, looking out at kiln

    View from the interior of the Ichino workshop, with standard production work on the shelves in the foreground and the kiln in the background. Potters will be interested to note the angle of the incline on which the kiln is built. There is no chimney on this kiln. The end wall of the last chamber at the top of the kiln has holes in it to function as exit flues for the smoke and gases of the firing but, again, no chimney. Because of the slope of the incline, the kiln, itself, functions as a chimney, pulling the draft to burn the wood.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 111, Tibetan Broderland Qinghai.
    Thorp Collection 111, Tibetan Broderland Qinghai.

    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 105, Village - Terraced hills, Gansu
    Thorp Collection 105, Village - Terraced hills, Gansu

    Village - Terraced hills, Gansu. This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanatin 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 126, Bare, white Alkali - Pootau, Suiyuan.
    Thorp Collection 126, Bare, white Alkali - Pootau, Suiyuan.

    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.