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Japanese Pagoda

Japanese Pagoda
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Pagodas and sanctuaries coexist in Japan such as Buddhism and Shintoisme do in the hearts of the Japanese. The majority practice these two religions throughout their lives. The Nipponese, Shintos from birth, become Buddhists at the end of their lives seeing that retirement gives them more time to reflect on what the future has in store for them. Shintoasm is the older of the two traditions, making it the original Japanese religion. In Shinto sanctuaries, the devoted pilgrims worship the kami; which are considered as the Japanese high divinities who are the heroes which make up part of their history. Buddhism, on the other hand, came to Japan from India via China and Korea in the 61th century. The Shinto Gods have since been considered to be Buddha's incarnations. It is in Kyoto, one of the rare Nipponese villages that escaped bombardment during the Second World War, that we find the largest number of temples and Japanese gardens.

It is very difficult at first sight, to distinguish between a Buddhist Temple and a Shinto Sanctuary. The presence of a Torii, a large wooden or brick portico in the form of an immense perch destined for the village's sacred rooster is found in sanctuaries. The architectural style of Buddhist Temples is more apt to make one think of China. The pagodas, in their sobriety, blend in harmoniously with nature. Their tiled or shingled roofs curl in at the top and flare out towards the bottom. The painted and lacquered wooden temples are often sculpted and one can always find a pavilion in which to worship Buddha. Inside, He sits "Indian-style", with eyes half-closed, inviting the visitor to meditate. The statues, sculptures and different works that decorate these temples, some that date back more than a thousand years, are among the lands most precious artistic treasures.


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