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  • 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 Priest, as Siva, for 6th day lila
    Priest, as Siva, for 6th day lila

    Priest dressed as Siva, to perform in 6th day lila. The priest is C.M.S. Cinnasami Bhattar.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; priest is C.M.S. Cinnasam Bhattar (Vikrama Pandya moiety), represents Siva. Hat color not fixed.; Keywords: priests, lilas

  • Thumbnail for Oduvar tells story of Jnanasambandar
    Oduvar tells story of Jnanasambandar

    Head Oduvar (Tamil singer) of the temple recites story of establishment of Saivism in Madurai; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Tiruvilaiyatal no. 63 is told by head oduvar.; Keywords: personnel, lilas

  • Thumbnail for Sirpathis

    Sirpathis carry pole supporing icon; Minaksi temple, Chittrai, 2004; Preparation for 1st evening procession. 42 Sirpathis (non-brahmins, not directly temple employees).; Keywords: personnel, sirpathis

  • Thumbnail for Wooden ratha base
    Wooden ratha base

    Wooden base for processional chariot, with initial bamboo superstructure; Minaksi temple, Chittrai, 2004; Keywords: vehicles, ratha

  • Thumbnail for Oil-rag lamps
    Oil-rag lamps

    Oil-rag lamps held during street site-pacification (vithi- vastusanti), a necessary purifying rite before festival processions.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: personnel

  • Thumbnail for Blessing of drummer
    Blessing of drummer

    Chief priest blesses drummer during site-pacification ceremony; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: priests, personnel, musicians

  • Thumbnail for Bhuta vehicle
    Bhuta vehicle

    Bhuta vehicle, used in 2nd evening procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Sundaresvara rides Bhuta vehicle on 2nd evening; Keywords: vehicles

  • Thumbnail for Sundaresvara on Bhuta Vehicle
    Sundaresvara on Bhuta Vehicle

    Siva Sundaresvara on Bhuta Vehicle, decorated for 2nd evening procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; 2nd evening procession; at P. C. Muttu Chettiyar pavilion, just before procession; Keywords: sundaresvara, decoration, vehicles

  • Thumbnail for Minaksi encounters Siva
    Minaksi encounters Siva

    Wall painting of Minaksi encountering Siva Sundaresvara, during her Conquest of the Directions; Minaksi temple; Uncompleted wall-painting, in corridor north of Golden Lotus Tank, inside temple complex; Keywords: deities, minaksi, paintings, sundaresvara

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 001, Altar of Heaven at night
    Thorp Collection 001, Altar of Heaven at night

    Altar of Heaven at night. Beijing. (Hartungs) Notes regarding the images in the James Thorp Collection, presented in this database as images ecasia000072 through ecasia000278: -- We have very little specific information regarding individual images in this collection of images of China, beyond the titles of the images. Following is a general statement about the group of images, as a whole, and about their creator. -- James Thorp was a professor of geology and soil science at Earlham College from the 1940s until his retirement in the early 1960s, when he was replaced by Charles Martin. He was a legendary teacher, as well as a highly respected geologist and an international expert on soils and soil conservation practices. He also was a skilled photographer. -- When he retired from Earlham, he left a set of rich resources to the college, including a very large collection of photos of China from the 1930s and an important collection of Chinese art. -- The photo collection includes prints and a group of about 400 glass transparencies. The images in this current section of the IDEAS project have been drawn from the collection of glass slides. -- In 1933, when he was 37 years old, Thorp, then an employee of the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry and Soils, U.S. Department of Agriculture, went to China, on loan from the Department of Agriculture. He served in China for three years as chief soil technologist for the National Geological Survey of China. The survey of Chinese resources which he directed resulted in his book, Geography of the Soils of China, published by the National Geologic Survey of China, 1936. -- During the years of his work in China, he toured the country analyzing and mapping the soils, taking many hundreds of photographs as he did so. Many are photos of soils, rock patterns, agricultural practices, etc., which he used later in his teaching and in his book on the soils of China. Other images depict China, itself, its temples, landscapes, and people. It is primarily from the latter group that these IDEAS project images have been selected. -- Unless otherwise noted, as is the case with the first 16 images presented here, image numbers ecasia000072 - ecasia000088, the photos were taken by James Thorp. [We believe that those first 16 slides were commercial images, several taken by a photographer named Hartungs, and the rest by Adams, as indicated in the data with the images.] The descriptions of the images, the only documentation we have for these images, are taken directly from Thorp's markings on each glass original, although spellings have been edited to reflect current practice. -- The images were taken using a view camera, probably producing glass negatives, which were then converted to these positive images on glass slides for projection. -- The positive glass slides have been carefully transferred to 35mm film by Wes Miller, Director, Instructional Technology and Media, Lilly Library, Earlham College. The film slides were scanned for use in this project by Sandy Augustin, Earlham assistant for the IDEAS project and secretary, Institute for Education on Japan. Ms. Augustin also worked with Photoshop to enhance some of the images for use in this project (high resolution, unedited files were produced also, for archiving of the images). The collection of James Thorp's photos and written materials, such as correspondence from China, is being surveyed and cataloged by Dr. Charles Martin, professor emeritus, Department of Geology, Earlham College, working with Dr. Thomas Hamm, Earlham College archivist. The collection of Chinese art bequeathed to the college by James and Eleanor Ballard Thorp is now part of the Earlham College Permanent Art Collection, Lilly Library.

  • 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, 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 School -- students'  kendo sticks from an after school club
    School -- students' kendo sticks from an after school club

    All middle school students are required to participate in after -school activity clubs at the school. They are free to select which clubs they wish to join, but participation is mandatory. The clubs, of course, are group activities, an important part of education in Japan. Many of the clubs focus on areas of traditional Japanese culture, such as tea ceremony or ikebana. This photo shows the wooden swords - kendo sticks - of students belonging to the club that learns and practices the traditional art of kendo.

  • 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 Muroji, 022, five-story pagoda
    Muroji, 022, five-story pagoda

    This image of the five-story pagoda shows it in its environment, which is set into the forest, on the level above the Initiation Hall. Because it is not next to another structure, which would provide a sense of scale, one is not aware of the fact that this pagoda is, in fact, perhaps the shortest pagoda in Japan, at a height of about one half of that of many other pagodas. Despite that relatively diminutive scale, it is an exceptionally graceful creation and it has been designated as a National Treasure. The pagoda, along with the kondo, is one of the two oldest buildings extant at Murõji and it probably is the older of the two, with recently discovered evidence indicating that it probably was built c. 800. Unlike the kondo, it probably has undergone little change over the millennium since its erection, and when we look at it we may well be seeing what it looked like when completed around 1,200 years ago. This particular image of the pagoda was taken in the summer of 2000, after the restoration of late 1998 - 1999. Another image, ecasia000026, was taken in 1998, before the restoration, as evidenced by the age of the painted surface. In late September, 1998, between the time of the making of those two images, a typhoon uprooted some of the massive Japanese cedars, the crytomeria trees, near the pagoda and one of the falling giants struck the roofs at the rear of the pagoda, seriously damaging them. Funds were raised immediately for a careful rebuilding, restoration of the damaged portion and the work was completed almost immediately. Image ecasia000022 shows a poster that was produced at the time of the restoration effort and image ecasia000043 shows a detail from the bottom of the poster, which includes photos of the damage and of the restoration work in progress.

  • Thumbnail for Noh play, performance on outdoor stage, Chusonji, Hiraizumi
    Noh play, performance on outdoor stage, Chusonji, Hiraizumi

    Each November there is a performance of a Noh play on an outdoor stage that is on the grounds of Chusonji, at Hiraizumi in Iwate Prefecture. This image is of the performance in the fall, 2000. -- The two stage props seen here are unusual in their elaborateness; noh stages are usually totally bare of props or, if there is a prop, it usually is simpler than is the case here. The several musicians used in noh , e.g., stick drummer, hand drummers, traverse flute player, are along the rear wall of the stage. Out of the photo, on the right, along the edge of the stage, are the members of the chorus who narrate the play. Noh drama, itself, in its form, in its lack of scenery, use of masks for the main actor in most plays, etc., reflects the austere suggestion, the minimalism of Ashikaga aesthetics. The brilliant robe of the shite , the main actor, reflects the addition of a decorative element, probably from the Momoyama period. The painting of the pine on the rear wall of the stage (and bamboo above the musicians' "coming in door" on the right) is a convention found on every noh stage -- it is said that the pine derives from the great pine tree at the Kasuga Shrine, Nara.

  • Thumbnail for Bhadrakali Sculpture
    Bhadrakali Sculpture

    Large Bhadrakali image in Kambattadi Mandapa, now worshiped with butter lamps; Minaksi temple; large sculpture in mandapa to east of main sundaresvar sanctum; Keywords: deities, kali

  • Thumbnail for Decorated Manikkavacakar
    Decorated Manikkavacakar

    Decorated Manikkavacakar from Tiruvathavur, before 11th evening procession; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: deities, decoration

  • Thumbnail for Worship of tree shrine
    Worship of tree shrine

    Tree and icons of worship, in outer part of Minaksi temple complex; Minaksi temple; on North Adi Stree, near North Gopuram; Keywords: deities, devotees

  • Thumbnail for Decorated Subrahmanya
    Decorated Subrahmanya

    Decorated Subrahmanya from Tirupparankundram, ready for 11th evening procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: deities, decoration

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 011, Mirokudo, exterior, seen from porch of the kondo
    Muroji, 011, Mirokudo, exterior, seen from porch of the kondo

    This is the Mirokudo, the Miroku Hall, also called the Maitreya Hall, at Muroji, as seen from the veranda of the kondo. The Mirokudo is a smaller hall, and later in date than the kondo, having been moved to this site from Kofukuji during the Kamakura period. It contains a main center altar and two smaller side altars. The center altar, as seen in the next image, ecasia000012, is devoted to a figure of the Miroku Bosatsu, and one of the side altars, image ecasia000013, holds the wooden carved sculpture of the Seated Shaka, an exceptional example of ninth century (early Heian) sculpture.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 033,  Hall of Eternal Light, front exterior
    Muroji, 033, Hall of Eternal Light, front exterior

    This image shows the front of the Hall for Memorial Tablets, also known as the Hall of Eternal Light. As is seen here, the structure is extended out in space on scaffolding over the steep hillside. The white pieces of paper along the lines between posts on the edge of the porch are omikuji, printed "fortunes." They have been tied to the line here with a prayer that the deity may assist in the fulfillment of the fortune. Omikuji are very commonly found at Shinto shrines and represent, perhaps, a crossing over of a practice between Shinto and Buddhism.

  • Thumbnail for Printed fortunes and prayers, omikuji, at Shinto shrine
    Printed fortunes and prayers, omikuji, at Shinto shrine

    These are folded pieces of paper with printed fortunes or prayers on them, obtained at the local shrine. They are tied here and left at the Shinto shrine in the hope that the kami of the shrine will help to make the fortune come true or help to fulfill the prayer.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 018,  Kanjodo, Initiation Hall, detail, front exterior
    Muroji, 018, Kanjodo, Initiation Hall, detail, front exterior

    Detail of the central bay of the Kanjodo at Muroji, showing part of the public portion of the hall. Included in the photo are the large vessel in which one may place a stick of lighted incense, the wooden offeratory box to the right of the incense vessel, and the container of sticks for fortunes on the right (see image ecasia000035).