August 12, 2007

The Great Buddha of Kamakura

No photo can do justice to this imposing monument, though the people in the picture can give some idea of the scale.

Originally built in 1252 AD by the sculptors Ono-Goroen and Tanji-Hisatomo this huge statue was originally housed in a massive temple. The temple was washed away in a tsunami in 1498 but the big Buddha was unfazed. Eearthquakes did not bring down the engineering marvel, but the great quake of 1923 dammaged its platform. That was repaired in 1925. Unlike many monuments, which sometime have the quality of George Washingtons axe, this is the real deal...it is as it was built....sans temple.

For 20 yen, you can go inside the thing too.The ladder to the head is now closed to the public, but it is cool to stand in the belly of the Buddha heat notwithstanding.

 

I never found an explanation for these Big Buddha Birkenstocks...

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