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Enjoy these temples with amazing outside corridors             回廊巡りを楽しむ京の寺

Daikaku-ji Temple Daikaku-ji Temple

Japan's Heian Period (794-1185) was an age of aristocracy. Their refined taste found its way into the design of temple buildings and gardens. The buildings often had no walls, but instead latticed shutters or sliding doors all around. When the shutters or doors were completely opened, the inside of the rooms became a part of the outside world. Outside roofed corridors connecting each building were also a place where they could touch nature, enjoy the gardens, and breathe and feel fresh air, yet be protected from rain, snow and strong sunshine. Noblemen really enjoyed the seasonal change of the gardens, and the comfortable touch of the wood of these impressive outside corridors.
The temples covered in this series (see below) were all established in the Heian Period, and are admired for the arrangement of their beautiful corridors. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

INDEX

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1 Eikan-do Temple (established in 853): Excursion through a collection of vertical corridors, leading up to higher levels
2 Daikaku-ji Temple (established in 876): Excursion through a labyrinth of long horizontal corridors
3 Ninna-ji Temple (established in 888): Zigzag corridors connecting sand and pond gardens
4 Shoren-in Temple (established in 1150): Horseshoe corridors facing three gardens


王朝文化に華やいだ平安時代(794-1185)、中央貴族たちは寝殿造の屋敷に住み、季節ごとに変わる庭の美しさを楽しみました。当時の建物には壁がなく、外周は蔀戸や妻戸のみで仕切られていたため、それらの戸をすべて開放すれば、室内と外の自然とが、たちまち一体となりました。建物をつなぐ回廊は、細い柱で屋根を支えた廊下です。ここもまた、雨や雪にぬれることなく、外の景色を楽しむことができるという点で、内外が一体化した空間でした。残念ながら往時の貴族屋敷は残っていませんが、平安時代に創建された寺院の中には、その面影を見ることができます。

このシリーズでは、内であって外でもある回廊に焦点を当てて、京都のお寺を訪ねてみたいと思います。

1 永観堂(853年創建):臥龍廊と上へ上へと伸びていく垂直回廊

2 大覚寺(876年創建):どこまでも続く迷宮回廊

3 仁和寺(888年創建):御室御殿の気品ある二つの回廊

4 青蓮院(1150年創建):庭を楽しむコの字型の回廊

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Kamakura Daibutsu 鎌倉大仏

大仏・セピア

Do you know where the most popular place for tourists to take a souvenir photos in Japan is? And do you know what the first statue photographed and introduced to foreign travelers in Japan was? The answer to both questions is the same: Kamakura’s Daibutsu!
Kamakura’s Daibutsu is a beautiful bronze statue built in the mid 13th century (760 years ago). He has been meditating under the sky for about 500 years of those years, after losing the shelter he was originally housed in. When you visit, you might see him soaked in rain, or sweating under the glaring sun, or just enjoying the warm spring sunshine. Whenever you come, his expressive face will touch your heart. Kamakura’s Daibutsu has been kept intact, without any large-scale restorations since it was built, while most parts of Nara’s Daibutsu has had to be reconstructed.

INDEX

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Kamakura Daibutsu: Meditating Buddha under the open sky for 500 years
Video: The Great Buddha of Kamakura
The making of Kamakura Daibutsu
1. Special casting techniques of the giant bronze statue
2. Deep meanings in Daibutsu’s appearance

高徳院の鎌倉大仏。そこは150年も前から、外国人向けの旅行ガイドブックに、なんと写真入りで紹介されてきましやた。そして当時も今も、海外からの旅行者が、必ず記念撮影をする場所です。800年近く大規模な修復や再建もなく、堂宇を失って500年もの長きにわたり、青空の下に座り続けてきた美しい仏。人々の心を惹き付けるその魅力とは何なのでしょうか?

1. 500年の風雪に耐える露坐の大仏
2. 動画:鎌倉大仏
3. 鎌倉大仏造像の謎:大仏鋳造の技術
4. 鎌倉大仏造像の謎:大仏意匠に隠された秘密
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Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine's Secret Magic

When it was built in the 17th century, Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine was a unique and a completely new type of shrine. Why and how was it built, and what was the purpose of this shrine? I would like to consider these and other questions in this series.

INDEX

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1. Supreme power spot produced by Ieyasu and his followers
2. Hidden signs behind its many carvings
3. Neo-Western styles applied to the ground’s design
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