Andrew’s world in Japan 2018/January

Artist & researcher based in KL since 2009, passionately exploring the creative process & connecting with other creative people.

A Visit to Nara – Part6
Works Of Art Of Works Of Art
– Observing Kōfuku-ji temple grounds –

With a sublime air, an older Japanese man lays down the base colors on his painting. Deftly he dabs his colors building depth and texture of the Nan’endō (South Octagonal Hall) of Kōfuku-ji temple. It’s meditative to observe him work. I’d love to spend the day watching him, but my time is limited and I’m not sure if I will remain in Nara another day or not. Today, I am walking around the grounds of Kōfuku-ji temple.
Standing tall is the remaining 50 meters tall five-story pagoda. One of the few remaining structures at this temple grounds founded in 669 that held within it near 175 buildings. As I believe mentioned previously, Kōfuku-ji is considered as one of the four great temples of the Nara Period and one of seven great temples from the Heian Period. The slightly odd trivia is that most were constructed and restored during the 12th to 18th centuries funded by a grant from Tokugawa Ieyasu. The year 1426 saw the complete restoration of this, the second tallest pagoda in Japan. Fires being unfortunately far too common were behind the destruction of this important structure a total of 5 times. Beyond my majestic impressions of the broadly spaced out area of Nara’s amazing historic grounds, I feel reassured of its value to see this man there painting the smaller hall structure.
You can also pay a small admission to enter the Tokondo (Eastern Golden Hall) houses several interesting Buddhist statues. Riding on the wave of trivia, a side note is the two large iron cauldrons at the Oyuya (bath house) dating from the Muromachi Period. Historians draw connections to the importance of the practice of cleanliness at Buddhist temples with the growth of the Japanese bathing culture such as the sento and onsen. One day, maybe soon, this practice may become more special as fresh clean water continues to become threatened by our changing environment.
While fortunate for this particular visit, the lush landscape offers, even more, fuel for my eyes. With the zeal of the painter, I decided that I could extend another day in Nara. There is still a bit more to see, and I’m excited at the prospect of spending more time in this emphatically historic zone of Japan. Decided, I relaxed and enjoyed experiencing the highly detailed woodwork, swooping roofline and other paintings around Kōfuku-ji.