Thursday, November 3, 2022

Disappeared Japan Awaji World Peace Kannon

 


This is the first of an occasional series of posts I plan on things I've seen that have now disappeared. Having been in Japan for more than twenty years, the number of things that have disappeared is only growing.


First up is the giant statue that used to stand on Awaji Island known as the Awaji World Peace Kannon. At 8o meters in height, when it was built in 1982 it was possibly the tallest statue in the world. Since then Japan, China, India, and other Asian countries have continuously been building ever taller statues, and ones of Kannon are quite common.


Built by a local businessman on Awaji Island, he also built a temple with a ten-storied pagoda at the site. Like many of these monumental statues, there is a viewing deck near the top where members of the public could climb up and enjoy the view.


Following his death in 1988, his wife took over running the site but apparently with little enthusiasm and it became rundown and dilapidated.  Following her death in 2006 it was immediately closed down and deteriorated further. 


The statue was made out of gypsum, hardly a resilient material, and the highest standards of construction were not used and so the statue and pagoda were in danger of collapse and have recently been demolished. These photos were taken in November 2018.


I have visited several of the other giant Kannon statues in Japan,  but the only one I have posted about on this blog is the one near Kurume in Kyushu. It was also built in 1982 and is only 61 meters tall, but is a more professional statue.

3 comments:

  1. Nice one. Great idea for a series.

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  2. I agree with the first comment. Looking forward to more.

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  3. Jake, this is Lily. I don't know squat about Google accounts and "anonymous." And, yes, I agree, seems like a great series---places that are gone. You probably know a lot of them. This one is awesome.

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