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  • 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.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 017, Kanjodo,  Main Hall, view in front
    Muroji, 017, Kanjodo, Main Hall, view in front

    This image shows a small rectangular pool, surrounded by a stone fence, and the front façade of the Main Hall, sometimes referred to as the Initiation hall, beyond it. Both are located on a level area on the side of the hill, up a short flight of stone steps from the level of the kondo. The Kanjodo is used for initiation rites in Esoteric Buddhism. Muroji is associated with Shingon, the esoteric sect founded by the priest Kukai in the 8th century, upon his return from study in China. Shingon is the sect known as the "True Word" sect and is rooted in Tantric Buddhism. Kukai is often referred to by his posthumous name, Kobo Daishi, "Great National Teacher."

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 019,  Kanjodo, Main Hall, front exterior view
    Muroji, 019, Kanjodo, Main Hall, front exterior view

    This is a view of the front of theMain Hall, the Initiation Hall at Muroji. Like the kondo, it is quite modest in size and is set into its natural setting on the side of the mountain, feeling integrated with its surroundings, rather than feeling imposed upon the setting or apart from it. The hall is symmetrical, being five bays wide and also five bays deep. The front portion of the hall is open, but the rear portion is only to initiates. This edifice has been designated as a National Treasure.

  • Thumbnail for Shinto shrine near Buddhist temple at Hiraizumi
    Shinto shrine near Buddhist temple at Hiraizumi

    Up a small rise within the compound of Chusonji temple, at Hiraizumi, is this small Shinto shrine, set into the woods. It is very common in Japan to find small Shinto shrines within the grounds of Buddhist temples (e.g., there is a small Shinto shrine on the island in the garden pond at Ryoanji, a Rinzai Zen temple in Kyoto). Shinto and Buddhism are not mutually exclusive in Japanese culture and it is probably true that most Japanese would regard themselves as being both Shinto and Buddhist. -- see also: images of garden, Ryoanji; images in Colorado College Japanese Religion Collection

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 020, five-story pagoda, view of Pagoda from side porch of Kanjodo
    Muroji, 020, five-story pagoda, view of Pagoda from side porch of Kanjodo

    Standing on the veranda on the left side of the Initiation Hall, looking up, back, and to the left of the Initiation Hall, one sees the five-story pagoda that rises through the trees behind the Initiation Hall. This image gives a clear sense of the location of the pagoda in relation to the Initiation Hall and also a clear indication of the lack of symmetry of the positioning of the various elements of the compound at Muroji.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 021,  five-story pagoda, steps leading up to the pagoda
    Muroji, 021, five-story pagoda, steps leading up to the pagoda

    The pagoda at Muroji is located on a level carved out of the hillside perhaps thirty feet or so (vertically) above the level of the Main Hall and its pool. The stone steps shown here are to the left of the Main Hall and lead one directly up toward the pagoda, enhancing the sense of the height and floating quality of the pagoda, as one ascends the steps.

  • Thumbnail for Folk dancers perform within grounds surrounding Chusonji, Hiraizumi
    Folk dancers perform within grounds surrounding Chusonji, Hiraizumi

    These dancers are performing a traditional folk dance, a deer dance, during a fall festival at Chusonji, in Hiraizumi

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 025, Guizhou-Sichuan border
    Thorp Collection 025, Guizhou-Sichuan border

    Guizhou-Sichuan border. 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 Muroji, 005,  Koi in a small pond near the Nio Gate
    Muroji, 005, Koi in a small pond near the Nio Gate

    On one's left as one walks along the path just inside the Nio gate at Muroji, is a small pond with lilly pads and koi .

  • Thumbnail for Tamba pottery, view 12., detail of the Ichino kiln
    Tamba pottery, view 12., detail of the Ichino kiln

    Closer view of the side of the Ichino kiln, showing the arched opening, the door, into one of the ware chambers. Piled next to the opening are the brick blocks that will be used to close off the opening for the next firing. Bundles of wood are stored on top of the arch and will be totally dried by the heat of the kiln during the early stages of the firing. Although there appear to be a couple of square kiln shelves to the left of the door in this photo, the Tamba kilns still are stacked largely using the traditional means of loading them, which means the use of saggers and/or the stacking of pots on top of one another, with wads of clay and high-silica ash wash between them, to prevent them from sticking to one another.

  • Thumbnail for Tamba pottery, view 14., kiln chamber being rebuilt, Ichino kiln
    Tamba pottery, view 14., kiln chamber being rebuilt, Ichino kiln

    At the time of the visit to the Ichino workshop, one chamber of the kiln was being rebuilt, giving us a very interesting look at the structure of a Tamba kiln. The bricks used to construct the flues appear to be either commercially produced brick or, at least, carefully pressed hand-made brick. The brick of the arch, on the other hand, is obviously hand-formed brick and less uniform in size and shape. The arch structure is, obviously, only one brick thick -- perhaps about 5 inches -- and, over that single course of brick, the arch has been mudded over with a layer of clay.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 043, Luofengcheng (the place where the "Phoenix" fell)
    Thorp Collection 043, Luofengcheng (the place where the "Phoenix" fell)

    Luofengcheng (the place where the "Phoenix" fell). 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 019, view Chongqing-Chengdu, Sichuan
    Thorp Collection 019, view Chongqing-Chengdu, Sichuan

    View Chongqing-Chengdu, 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 Thorp Collection 003, Throne Room section - Forbidden City from the air, Beijing
    Thorp Collection 003, Throne Room section - Forbidden City from the air, Beijing

    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 048, ditch mud-fertilizer, Nontungchow
    Thorp Collection 048, ditch mud-fertilizer, Nontungchow

    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 13., pots left on ground near kiln
    Tamba pottery, view 13., pots left on ground near kiln

    These pieces had been left outside, on the ground next to the kiln. Some have obvious rough spots on them and may be pieces that will be re-fired.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 049, spinner
    Thorp Collection 049, spinner

    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 06., Ichino home and workshop
    Tamba pottery, view 06., Ichino home and workshop

    This is the home and workshop of the Ichino family, one of the foremost pottery families in Tamba-Tachikui.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 079, On way to Huangshan South Anhui
    Thorp Collection 079, On way to Huangshan South Anhui

    On way to Huangshan South Anhui. This image and all othrs identified as I.D.Nos. 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."

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 065, Temple - Bridge - Southern Anhui.
    Thorp Collection 065, Temple - Bridge - Southern Anhui.

    Thorp Collection, Temple - Bridge - Southern Anhui. 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 collection.

  • Thumbnail for Daisenin garden, view 08, east garden, detail, "mountains" in northeast corner from hojo veranda
  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 064, Old Bridge and Tree, Huizhou-Huangshan.
    Thorp Collection 064, Old Bridge and Tree, Huizhou-Huangshan.

    Thorp Collection, Old Bridge and Tree, Huizhou-Huangshan. 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 collection.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 067, Huangshan., Anhui (Yellow Mountains)
    Thorp Collection 067, Huangshan., Anhui (Yellow Mountains)

    Huangshan., Anhui (Yellow Mountains) 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 the image I.D. No. ecasia000072, "Altar of Heaven at night, Beijing."