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October 18 2012

Zen Architecture - Katomado - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Kaizando Hall, Kodaiji Temple, Kyoto

At some Japanese Zen Buddhist temples, you will see an architectural element of great beauty: the Katōmado window. According to the original kanji writing, 火灯窓 katōmado means “fire light window". However, because it was considered bad to have a name that implies the presence of fire for a wooden building element, the kanji writing was changed to 花頭窓 or 華頭窓, both meaning “flower head window". Indeed, we can say now that the katōmado looks like a tulip flower…

Usually, like in this photo of the Kaizando Hall from the Kodaiji Temple from Kyoto, the window is made of dark colored wood and it is mounted on a white wall, creating, as you can see, a beautiful effect…

September 02 2012

A modern Zen Garden in Kyoto - via A Japan Photo per Day -

Zen Garden, Tofuku-ji Temple, Kyoto

If you love Zen gardens, one of the most interesting places to visit in Kyoto is the Tofuku-ji Temple. You will find a Zen garden on each of the 4 sides of its Hojo building, all created in 1930 by one of the most important Japanese garden builders, Mirei Shigemori. Today, I want to show you the Northern Garden, which re-creates the Zen simplicity with modern design themes: a checkered pattern with square rocks and large patches of moss.

As you can see in the photo, since the summer was scorching here in Kyoto, a large part of the moss, not protected by the building shadows, has dried up… But I think this only adds up to the beauty of this remarkable garden…

June 07 2012

Zen Temple Panorama via A Japan Photo per Day -

Kencho-ji is the top temple amongst the Kamakura Five Great Zen Temples (Kamakura Gozan in Japanese) and is also the oldest monastery from Japan where Zen was taught and practiced. Over the history, Kencho-ji became one of the largest temples in Japan, with 49 sub-temples and 7 main buildings!

Today, the temple still impresses with its large number of buildings, even though the history was brutal and, after the Kamakura Period, Kencho-ji was hit by numerous disasters, including earthquakes and fires destroying all the buildings…

Some of the constructions were rebuilt with money from donations (like the Sanmon Gate), while for other buildings less common methods were used: the hall on the right of this photo, the Butsuden (Buddha Hall) was simply moved here from the Zojo-ji Temple from Edo (Tokyo)! This impressive task was accomplished in 1647, during the rule of the Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate…

April 12 2012

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Zen Magnet Dispenser - YouTube
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