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  • Thumbnail for Minaksi
    Minaksi

    Minaksi emerges from temple; Minaksi temple, Chittrai, 2004; Keywords: deities, minaksi, procession

  • Thumbnail for Wall painting: Minaksi
    Wall painting: Minaksi

    Wall painting of Minaksi, inside temple corridor. This central panel depicts the marriage of Mianksi and Siva Sundaresvara, officiated by Visnu.; Minaksi temple; Uncompleted wall-painting, in corridor north of Golden Lotus Tank, inside temple complex; Keywords: deities, minaksi, paintings

  • 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 Nandi-banner raised on secondary flagpole
    Nandi-banner raised on secondary flagpole

    Priest raises Nandi-banner on a secondary flagpole in Nandi-mandapa, during flag-raising ceremony.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: flag-raising

  • Thumbnail for Sundaresvara on Kalpataru vehicle
    Sundaresvara on Kalpataru vehicle

    Siva Sundaresvara mounted on Kalpataru (wish-granting tree) vehicle, awaiting 1st procession; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; 1st evening procession; Keywords: sundaresvara, vehicles, decoration

  • Thumbnail for Decorated Minaksi, flag-raising
    Decorated Minaksi, flag-raising

    Decorated Minaksi image, during flag-raising ceremony; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: minaksi, flag-raising, decoration, ideas

  • Thumbnail for Golden horse vehicle
    Golden horse vehicle

    Golden horse vehicle for evening procession, 8th evening; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; in Kalyana mandapa; Keywords: vehicles

  • Thumbnail for Minaksi on Lion vehicle
    Minaksi on Lion vehicle

    Minaksi mounted on Lion vehicle, for 1st evening procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; 1st evening procession; Keywords: vehicles, minaksi

  • Thumbnail for Ganesa, decorated
    Ganesa, decorated

    Decorated Ganesa image, ready for evening procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: ganesa, decoration

  • Thumbnail for Camels
    Camels

    Temple camels waiting for procession to begin.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; 1st evening procession; Keywords: animals, 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 Printed fortunes left at a temple as prayers
    Printed fortunes left at a temple as prayers

    A printed prayer or fortune, an omikuji , obtained at a shrine or a temple, may be tied to a line or, often, to a branch, in effect, as a prayer to the deity of the shrine or temple, seeking their aid in bringing it true. This line of such fortunes is at Muroji, a Buddhist temple in the countryside in Nara Prefecture. Although they are most commonly seen at Shinto shrines, this group is at a Buddhist temple. Keywords: omikuji , fortune see also: ecasia000035, 000059

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 032, Hall for Memorial Tablets, viewed from mountain path
    Muroji, 032, Hall for Memorial Tablets, viewed from mountain path

    The entrance to the Hall for Memorial Tablets, at Muroji is on ground level of a small level area. Most of the hall, however, is built out over the steep hillside, supported on scaffolding, as shown in this image taken from the stone stairs as one approaches the small plateau.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 003, entrance path and bridge across Muro River
    Muroji, 003, entrance path and bridge across Muro River

    On the right side of the image, above the woman walking on the path, may be seen the bridge that crosses the Muro River. On the far side of the river (a stream at this point) is Muro village. In the foreground is the path that leads from the bridge to the entrance gate at Muroji (to the left, out of the photo).

  • 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 Priest-as-Siva addresses deities
    Priest-as-Siva addresses deities

    Priest-as-Siva addresses deities, in Minaksi-Nayakkar Mandapa, as part of 6th day lila. He narrates the story of that day's lila.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; Keywords: priests, lilas

  • Thumbnail for Sundaresvara decorated for procession
    Sundaresvara decorated for procession

    Siva Sundaresvara decorated for 8th evening procession.; Minaksi temple, Avani Mula, 2007; in Kalyana-mandapa, waiting for procession to begin; Keywords: sundaresvara, decoration

  • Thumbnail for View of Temple Towers
    View of Temple Towers

    View of Temple Towers from Goripalayam, across river; Minaksi temple; Taken from large statue of Thevar, at Goripalayama intersection (same as photo in 1982); Keywords: temple, towers

  • Thumbnail for View of Temple Towers
    View of Temple Towers

    View of Temple Towers, from across Vaigai River, with competition from billboards.; Minaksi temple; Keywords: temple, towers

  • 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 Muroji, 016, rectangular pool in front of the Kanjodo, Main Hall
    Muroji, 016, rectangular pool in front of the Kanjodo, Main Hall

    A view of the rectangular pool that lies in front of the Main Hall, the Kanjodo, the initiation hall, at Muroji. This is viewed with the hall at one's back, looking across the pool in the direction of the Muro River and Muro village on the other side of the river. There are orange koi in the pool and, in the spring, the surface of the pool is covered with petals of blossoms from nearby trees.

  • Thumbnail for Muroji, 006, stone steps from level of entrance gate up to level of kondo and Mirokudo
    Muroji, 006, stone steps from level of entrance gate up to level of kondo and Mirokudo

    As described with the image of the Nio gate at Muroji (image ecasia000004.jpg), one of the disctinctive features of the compound at Muroji is the fact that it is not laid out on a symmetrical axis, oriented along a north-south axis, and all on a level plot (for comparison, e.g., look at the plan of Yakushiji, Nara). From the level of the Nio gate at Muroji, one turns to one's left and ascends this set of stone steps to reach the next level of the compound, where there is a modest sized, open level area that is used for ceremonies. On that level, the kondo is directly ahead of one across from the top of the steps, the Mirokudo is directly to one's left, and the Haiden, an early 20th century addition, is to one's right.

  • 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, 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).

  • Thumbnail for Haiku poetry image enters the 21st century
    Haiku poetry image enters the 21st century

    In the last half of the 17th c., Basho, the great master of the haiku form, wrote "On the withered bough/ A crow has alighted/ Nightfall in autumn." -- In this photo, captured on a chilly, damp autumn evening in northern Honshu, we can sense the spirit of Basho's poem translated into the 21st century. -- keywords: aesthetics, poetry, literature, haiku, Basho