Showing posts with label meteor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meteor. Show all posts

Monday, October 24, 2011

Inside Meteor Plaza


This is what Meteor Plaza was built around, its the Mihonoseki meteorite, a 6.8 kilo piece of rock that smashed through a house in the nearby fishing village of Sozu on the night of December 10th, 1992.

There were violent thunderstorms that night so the residents didnt notice it until they found the holes in their roof and floors next morning.


The meteor is diplayed inside the conical section of this unusual building. The section of the building modelled on the shape of the meteor itself houses a 500 seat auditorium. I think they were a little optimistic about how many visitors would want to come and see the meteor. When we visited we were the only ones there in the vast, cavernous space.


Inbetween showings of a short movie about the meteor the hall is lit with a kind of light and music show.


Adjacent to the auditorium is a small museum showing photos and press clippings as well as sections of the roof and floor that the meteor passed through.


The strange interior shape of the auditorium lent itself to photos of unusual geometric shadow patterns...

Meteor Plaza was designed by architect Shin Takamatsu, and photos of the unusual exterior can be seen in this previous post.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Meteor Plaza


Meteor Plaza is a complex located in Shichirui, a small coastal village now part of Mihonoseki which is now part of Matsue.


The complex includes a ferry terminal (for the Oki Islands), an auditorium, a seawater indoor swimming pool, and a museum.


The museum house the Mihonoseki Meteor which hit a village nearby in 1992. The cone of the building represents the meteors trajectory to earth, and the weird spheroid shape is modelled on the shape of the meteor itself.


The complex was designed by Shimane architect Shin Takamatsu and was opened in 1995



Saturday, April 4, 2009

Meteor, Mountain, Manyoshu.


Bristling with towers and antennae, the 470m high Shimanohoshitakayama, hereafter known as Star Mountain, is visible from up and down the coast and from Rte 9 or the train as one passes through Gotsu.


The star on the mountainside, most visible after a snow or when lit up in August, symbolizes a meteor that slammed into the mountain in the year 874. At the site of the impact a temple was built. Reisyo-ji, and the meteor itself enshrined as Inseki Daimyojin, which could be translated as Meteor Great Shining Deity.


The space in the door of the little shrine is so you can reach in and touch the meteor. It is a decent size... I haven't been able to find out its weight, but it's close to a metre in length.
The crater made by its impact is now a small pond just in front of the temple.


The small temple itself is fairly nondescript, but outside there are several large statues of Kannon.


Like most temples or shrines that have a strong "folk" tradition, there are an interesting, eclectic, collection of little statues of assorted kami, buddhas, and saints.


Right next to the temple is a park with over 500 Camellia trees. Also nearby is a miniature golf course, and the local "Clean Center" which is where the trash gets recycled and incinerated. Only in Japan could a place that produces toxic dioxin be called a clean center!


There are several spots with scenic overviews of the coast and beautiful downtown Gotsu below.

There is a small settlement up here too, though I was surprised to learn that people didn't move on to the mountain until the 1940's.


The local shrine is named after Kakinomoto Hitomaro, probably the most well known of the ancient poets whose work is in the Manyoshu, the oldest anthology of Japanese poetry.

It is believed that the mountain is described in one of his famous poems, On Leaving Iwami, and the evidence is strong. The Sanindo, the ancient road linking the region to the capital in kyoto, passes in front of the mountain, and kakinomotos wife is from Tsunozu at the base of the mountain to the west. Actually he had quite a few wives, but Yosami no Otome is the most well known as she was a poet in her own right and her works are also in the Manyoshu. The love story of Kakinomoto and Yosami was made into a childrens picture book and images of the couple appear all over the Gotsu area, looking suitably cute.

This is a follow-up post to an earlier post.