Jul 20, 2010

Nara Kojukuji 奈良 興福寺 7/20/10

I went to Kofukuji temple last July during the event of 
the anniversary of Nara Heijo-kyo Capital in 2010.
I arrived at Kintetsu Nara station and ate lunch at Indian (Nepal? I forgot) restaurant in the arcade. And walked towards the Sarusawa no ike pond which is behind Kohukuji temple.

Celebrating the 1300th anniversary of Nara Heijo-kyo Capital in 2010


Sento kun at Nara Station せんとくん

Temple on post box

Sarusawa pond 猿沢池

Kohukuji pagoda on pond 猿沢池の反射と興福寺の塔

Nara Kohuku-ji 奈良 興福寺 7/20/10 part 4

After done touring around Kofuku-ji temple, and Buddhist statue museum, I am heading back to JR station.

On the electric pole, I found deer illustration which deer consider as a god at Nara.

People can rent a bike to tour around Nara. There is a traditional architecture Japanese tea house by the pond. At the edge of the pond, there is a map board of Nara city, and there is an information center that might answer your questions in Japanese and English.

I like the clock tower that has a Japanese old style stone roof. If seems like any public architecture has Japanese style tile roof, including a mail box I showed in another blog post.

The flags by stairs are for sighning of Fudo god shrine. Fudo is Acalanatha in Hidu, and they sets up at both Japanese shrines and temples.

They just renewed JR Nara train station building in 2010. The station building is also looks like a temple building, and it has heavy and solemn feel. 

You can go to Nara from both JR and Kintetsu lines. I think JR line is more convenient to downtown Osaka and Kyoto city, but from famous temples in Nara, Kintetsu line is closer. Because Kintetsu lines are built by famous temple and hiking roads, which seems to me like ancient pilgrimage railway. 

Deer electric pole

Old style tea house

Nara city map and clock tower

Information Center inside

Sarusawa pond

JR (Japan Railway) Nara Station building

Fudoumyouou Flags 西国札所

Clock tower with stone roof

Nara Kohuku-ji 奈良 興福寺 7/20/10 part 3

Continue walking around Kohuku-ji area... Walking at the East low area there is 3 story pagoda. And when I went upstairs to the wider area, they are 5 story pagoda, and other Buddhist temples and museum that exhibit different famous Buddhas from 5-6 centuries. 

In summer 2010, it was very summer hot day like this year, and it was a blue sky and it has cumulonimbus clouds appearing like cotton candies, so I felt like I wanted to include pagoda and sky in my pictures. White moon was there too, and I tried to capture to put by side of the pagoda. You can see very tiny moons though.

moon and pagoda

Nara Kohuku-ji 奈良 興福寺 7/20/10 part 2

Continue wondering around Kohuku ji. Date 7/20/2010
After leaving Sarusawa Pond, I am heading up to Kohuku-ji temple. By side of the stairs, there are zizos and deers near little temple buildings on the way.
I tried to take photos of deer. One looked at me, but when I took pictures, he/she looked down. tricky.


(I recognized blogger has new format that I am writing now.)

I have never seen Maria looking zizo child. Normally zizo child also has a bald hair.

Nara deer is sacred like and Nara people treated as animal god.

Jul 15, 2010

Nakazakicho, Osaka, 9/12/09

Here are my photos I walked around Nkazakicho (中崎町)Osaka. It is one of the popular old town district and they have many stores, restaurants, stationary stores, galleries, etc that young owners run by themselves. I have been wanting to visit there, but had not had a chance to. I was expecting to see bigger area of old town district. Nakazakicho has more area, but the old buildings have just in a small area in a few blocks and little alley. I wanted to walk more, but it was raining, and some stores that I wanted to go was close, so I told to myself to come back again, maybe with Alex.

Jul 4, 2010

Art and Craft in Japan, 2008

Arts and Craft in Japan
Essay for the Bay Area architecture history class.

I think that when Art and Crafts came from England to Japan, it was influenced in two ways.

One is called “Mingei” which was about thinking back traditional Folk Craft in Japan and also colonized places during the WWII, such as Korean Taiwan, and Manchuria China, as well as Native tribes from Ainu in Hokkaido and Okinawa. “It was founded a group by Sotetsu Yanagi (1889-1961) which established Japanese Folk Craft Museum. (Wikipedia, Mingei) “Yanagi went around Japan and rescued the lowly pots and unappreciated crockery used by commoners during the Edo Period (1603-1867) and Meiji Period (1868-1912.)” “Yanagi described the beauty of Mingei with words such as wholesome, honest, natural, innocent, free, simple, and pure.” (Mingei History) (which I think that it is resemble to a concept of the American Art & Craft Movement. These influences were rather about ceramic pottery, wooden furniture and sculpture and other everyday handmade objects than architecture movement.

Another influence was that a practice of Japanese architects, who came back from Europe and America, kind of combined both Art and Craft and Art Nouveau Movement together in one building, as well as reflected by Frank Lloyd Wright style. For example, Eikichi Hasebe (1885-1960) design Old Sumitomo Buildng in Osaka, a former Sumitomo Bank main branch has more as the Corinthian column style, but the columns included nature leaf designs with his influence of European design. (See attachment) He graduated architecture major at former Tokyo University. Sumitomo building was built in 1929 of its North wing and finished the South wing in 1930. Sumitomo zaibatsu (financial group) has been one of the top family business group in Japan, such like Rockefeller family in America. They own metal working industry, banking and many others. They hired own architecture designers to build their own business buildings.

Junichi Tanabe also designed Seienbunko building which has oak leaves designed stained glass and tiles of its exterior. Seienbunko is a library of Eiichi Shibusawa collection of old Chinese books. It was built in 1925 for his eighty years cerebration. He was a Japanese entrepreneur, philoshopher who lived from the end of Edo period. Tanabe he visited France and other European countries as a member of Tokugawa Akitake's Delegation to the Paris World Exposition. After becoming Meiji period, he founded the First National Bank and contributed to establish modern Japanese economic system. In the same area, there is a Western influenced Tea House.

The Tea House was called as a small bungalow house which was built in 1917 for Sjobisawa’s 77’s anniversary (the number 77 is a lucky number is Japan.) Obviously, it has an influenced by California bungalow style with a built in furniture like drawers attached by bay windows and fireplace. Wall materials are concrete and brick tiles or wood attached as a design. (It might be stronger for the winter weather and earthquake in Japan.) Unfortunately, both of the buildings were half destroyed by Tokyo Great Air Raid in 1945 by American B 25 bomber planes. 100,000 people died and 270,000 buildings were burned down. So, they were restored, and registered as national treasure and opened again in 1982 as a Shibusawa Memorial Museum. (see Shibusawa Memorial Museum website and pdf document.)

Since, I read about Sears mail order home, I will also introduce about the Japanese architecture housing company who import North American Style homes and its materials. Often times, Canadian contractors come together with lumbers, and do its assembly. Maple Homes is one of the popular import style house company who was established in 1986. The kinds of designs, which people can order at this company, are, International Style, Timber Frame, Anne of Green Gables, Santa Fe, Arts and Crafts, Colorful Modern, Built in Garage, and Architect Series (which is more as an order made style depending on architect’s originality and customer’s wishes.) As I am looking at the sample design pictures of their customers’ “Arts and  Crafts” house, they have more as England Tudor style, maybe more European Arts and Crafts style with brick wall, roof tiles and massive structure. While their “Timber Frame” house looks more close to the Californian Bungalow styles, the way American exaggerated Japanese temple roof framing. (See Maplehomes website, and attachement) I realized that since many of the Japanese houses have separate toilet and bathroom, they are separated as our custom of living, even in Western style of the housing. As same as Californian Bungalow, furniture is included or built-in their mail order houses.

Sibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation
http://www.shibusawa.or.jp/museum/facility.html (Japanese site)
http://www.shibusawa.or.jp/english/index.html (English site)
Shibusawa Eiichi - wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shibusawa_Eiichi (English site)
Sumitomo Group
http://www.sumitomo.gr.jp/magazine/feature03/index.html (Japanese site)
Seien Bunko, Let’s enjoy Tokyo
http://www.enjoytokyo.jp/id/edogoma/97917.html (Japanese site)
Maple Homes, Timber Frame
http://www.maplehomes.co.jp/case/ac/index.html (Japanese site)
Maple Homes, Arts & Crafts
http://www.maplehomes.co.jp/case/timber/index.html (Japanese site)

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