Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vacation 2011 Day 4 The Shard


After Canary Wharf I still had a bit of time before my flight and as the weather was OK, which in England means it wasnt raining, I headed over to Tower Bridge to check out The Shard.


When completed it will be the tallest building in the EU at 310 meters. It was designed by Renzo Piano who also designed Kansai Airport.


Nearby is the More London complex of buildings designed by Norman Foster, including of course....


London City Hall, described by Ken Livingston as a testicle.


There is of course lots of more traditional brick architecture still left in the area......


... and then a few hours later, I was enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of Marrakesh!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Buddhas, Jizo, & other statues of Kunisaki 2


This set of Jizo are quite unusual, not only in their facial expressions, but also in that they are ceramic and not the usual stone.


Often large groups of statues of different figures will be rakan, disciples of the Buddha.


I am not sure who this guy is, maybe one of you can tell me, but like many of the buddhist pantheon it seems to have its roots in Hinduism.


These look like Jizo, guardian of children among other identities. Possibly Mizuko Jizo for children who died before birth.


Once again, I have no idea who this pair are. maybe some of you know?


All of thesae photos were taken on the Kunisaki peninsular in Oita Prefecture, north Kyushu, one of my favorite places in japan and home to an enormous amount of statues, mostly of stone.



Monday, July 4, 2011

Genbu Shrine

Genbu Shrine is located north of the Imperial palace in Kyoto and was one of the 4 shrines for protection of the palace. It was built in the ninth century and originally enshrined a favorite sword of Prince Koretaka, a son of Emperor Montoku.

The name Genbu refers to the guardian animal of this direction, commonly represented as a turtle entwined by a snake.

The shrine is host on the second sunday of April to the Yasuraibana Matsuri based on hanashizume festivals which were held to ward of plagues.

There are two secondary shrines in the grounds, one to Inari and one to Miwa Myojin which is another name for the Miwa deity Okuninushi.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The tallest torii in japan

This really is the tallest torii in Japan, located in the town of Tanabe City in the mountains of wakayama.

It is made of steel and is 33.9 meters tall. It weighs 172 tons, and the top lintel is 42 meters wide.

The torii stands at the entrance to the original site of the Hongu Taisha Shrine that stood for more than 1,000 years on a sandbar where several rivers meet. In 1889 a disastrous flood destroyed the shrine and it was moved to its present hilltop site a few hundred meters away.

The torii and the associated hrine and the pilgrimage routes to the three Kumano shrines are now all a World Heritage Site.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Big Roof Kawara 2

48 Hours. 42 of 600

More photos of traditional rooftiles in the context of large roofs.


many of these are temples, but there are some modern buuildings....

One day in Yamaguchi City 5908




Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Nagi Moca, "Moon"

The Museum of Contemporary Art in the tiny town of Nagi in Okayama is a unique collaboration between architect and artist. The building entitled "Moon" is by architect Arata Isozaki and artist Kazuo Okazaki.


The name "Moon" refers to the orientation of the building, a long narrow shape composed of an arc and a straight line. The line points towards the moon at 10pm on the Autumnal Equinox.


The artwork is titled "Hisashi that which supplements" and is composed of 2 small sculptures on the flat wall and 2 curved granite benches along the curved wall.


It is a large minimal space filled with light. Hisashi is a Japanese word for eaves and refers to the sculptures which are made by pouring plaster so it overhangs an edge, and when dry is then hung on the wall.


The other two architectural installations that make up the museum are Earth, and Sun.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Kenkun Shrine


Kenkun Shrine, also known as Takeisao Shrine, is located on a small hill, Funaoka Yama, in the northeast of Kyoto.


With its roofs of cedar bark shingles, the shrine looks to be old, but in fact was not founded until 1880. It enshrines the great warlord Oda Nobunaga.


The shrine is very much a part of State Shinto, the emperor-centric religion created in the Meiji era. Many of the old Japanese heroes who were considered to have been imperial loyalists were enshrined at this time, as well as Nobunaga, Toyotomi was also enshrined in Kyoto at Toyokuni Shrine.


This is an Onusa, a purification wand used in all ceremonies.


There were several smaller shrines on the hillside, including this Inari Shrine.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Manhole Fish


This is the manhole cover for Nishinoshima, one of the islands that make up the Oki Islands. I know a squid is not a fish, but its close enough.

A walk from Tsuwano to Masuda 7164

Masuda down in the southwest of Shimane has the Takatsu River and I'm guessing these are carp.


This is from Taki Town up in Izumo and its hard to tell from the design exactly which fish it is meant to be, could be flying fish or it could be an Orca.


Fukuura is a village on the Shimane Peninsular and now a part of Mihonoseki. The fish is probably a Sea Bream (tai) as Kotoshironushi, popularly known as Ebisu, used to enjoy fishing for Tai here.


The draincover for Mihonoseki also features the Tai.


Another one from Masuda, and these look like Ayu, called Sweetfish in English. The Takatsu River is a popular place fro Ayu fishing.


Not sure which town this belongs to, but it was on the banks of the Shimanto River in Ehime, Shikoku. They might also be Ayu.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Seamark Building


The Seamark Building is located on Island City, a man-made island in Hakata Bay.


It houses various offices and a "Cyber University".


It was designed by architect Kojiro Kitagawa, who I have not come across before.


It opened in 2008.