Sanjusangen-do temple, Kyoto
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Panoramic photo by Dave Kennard EXPERT Taken 01:52, 13/10/2009 - Views loading...


Sanjusangen-do temple, Kyoto

The World > Asia > Japan

Tags: temple, buddhism

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Panorama in the Rengeō-in temple complex in Kyoto, Japan. The long hall to the west is Sanjūsangen-dō (三十三間堂), measuring a length of 120 metres long. The hall's name literally means 'Hall with thirty-three spaces between columns'.

Sanjūsangen-dō is registered as a National Treasure of Japan, and contains 1001 wooden statues of the Buddhist deity Sahasrabhuja-arya-avalokiteśvara (Thousand Armed Kannon).

The temple was originally constructed in 1164 by Taira no Kiyomori. The current building of Sanjūsangen-dō dates from 1266 after the original was destroyed in a fire. It has undergone four great renovations since the reconstruction.

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This panorama was taken in Japan

This is an overview of Japan

The eight islands of Japan sprang into existence through Divine Intervention.

The first two gods who came into existence were Izanagi no Mikoto and Izanami no Mikoto, the Exalted Male and Exalted Female. It was their job to make the land for people to live on.

They went to the bridge between heaven and earth and, using a jewel-encrusted halberd, Izanagi and Izanami churned up the sea into a frothy foam. As salty drips of water fell from the tip of the halberd the first island was formed. Its name was Onogoro.

So far, so good. But when Izanagi and Izanami first met on their island, Izanami spoke to Isanagi without being spoken to first. Since she was the female, and this was improper, their first union created badly-formed offspring who were sent off into the sea in boats.

The next time they met, Izanagi was sure to speak first, ensuring the proper rules were followed, and this time they produced eight children, which became the islands of Japan.

I'm sure you did not fail to miss the significance of this myth for the establishment of Japanese formal society.

At present, Japan is the financial capital of Asia. It has the second largest economy in the world and the largest metropolitan area (Tokyo.)

Technically there are three thousand islands making up the Japanese archipelago. Izanagi and Izanami must have been busy little devils with their jewelled halberd...

Japan's culture is highly technical and organized. Everything sparkles and swooshes on silent, miniaturized mechanisms.

They're a world leader in robotics, and the Japanese have the longest life-expectancy on earth.

Text by Steve Smith.

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