2017年07月17日

'Kintaikyo' in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, built in 1673, is a long wooden bridge made up of a continuous row of five arch bridges.

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Kintaikyo was built by a feudal lord of the Iwakuni domain to connect Iwakuni Castle with the downtown over the Nishiki. The specialists carried out a feasibility study though, any instructive bridges couldn't be found in Japan, because the total length of the bridge was needed up to 200 meters. Finally, a stone arch bridge in China was used as a reference. The original bridge built in 1673 was partially washed away by a flood in the next year after the completion, but the stone bridge piers were reinforced immediately. Since then, this bridge had never been destroyed for some 276 years until a typhoon hit it in 1950. The history of restoration works of this bridge, 210 meters long and 5 meters wide, has long been perfectly kept. Every 15 years for the floorboards and every 20 years for the main structure, this bridge has been regularly maintained since its first completion, which is in order to hand down the bridge building techniques. All the timber for the maintenance works is provided from nearby afforestation area exclusively for the bridge.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 14:31 | Chugoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年07月15日

'Konjikido' Golden Hall of 'Chusonji' Buddhist Temple in Iwate Prefecture, which realizes the land of Perfect Bliss, is an inexpressively amazing building.

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Chusonji Buddhist Temple, a pivotal structural element forming World Heritage 'Hiraizumi', features Konjikido Golden Hall. This Golden Hall stands out above the rest of many other historical buildings of Chusonji. Being built in 1124 by 'Fujiwara Kiyohira', the first generation of 'Oshu Fujiwara' clan, the coffins of four successive heads of the clan had been enshrined here. The bodies of them are mummified in these coffins. With the gilded coffins, gilded Buddhist statues and gilded interior finishing materials, they are also inlaid with turban shells, ivory and gems, Golden Hall has a tremendous capacity to charm people. These stunning decorations aim at the expression of the Earthly Paradise for the dead people of the clan, hoping they can go to Paradise as soon as they passed away. As shown in the picture, Konjikido Golden Hall is entirely covered with a concrete building. Taking a picture of the Hall is prohibited though, it's worth a look.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:05 | Tohoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年07月07日

'Motsuji' Buddhist Temple in Iwate Prefecture is one of the five structural elements of 'Hiraizumi' which is placed on the World Heritage List.

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Hiraizumi Town, in the northern part of Iwate Prefecture, is dotted with various Buddhist temples and gardens which was built based on the *'jodo belief'.
*Jodo Belief was the old belief that the Pure Land can be reached through prayer.
'Oshu Fujiwara' clan, who ruled 'Tohoku' district over three generations in the 11th-12th century, elaborately incarnated the Paradise in Hiraizumi Town. They established several huge Buddhist temples and gardens, and Motsuji Temple is a leading example together with Chusonji Temple. It is said that more than 500 buildings used to stand around the central pond 'Oizumi-ga-Ike' as shown in the first picture. This beautiful pond, which was designed faithfully following 'Sakuteiki' instruction manual for gardening in those years, expresses a beauty of heavenly seacoast. The second picture shows a stream, which represents a river flowing into an ocean. The scenery woven by the stream and pond is likened to the world of the Pure Land of Amida Buddha.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,]
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:16 | Tohoku | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする