Sunday, October 16, 2011

Surprise Japanese Unesco cards

Claus tagged me twice in two different tags. In the 1st envelope he sent a favorite card from Egipt and a new Unesco card from Japan, Yakushima and in the 2nd envelope the only Unesco site from Bahrain and the Todaiji Temple, one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara.

Yakushima is a subtropical island off the southern coast of Kyushu and part of Kagoshima Prefecture. It is covered by an extensive cedar forest that contains some of Japan's oldest living trees. Trees more than 1000 years old are affectionately called yakusugi (a combination of Yakushima and sugi, the Japanese word for cedar), the most ancient of which may be over 7000 years old.

The island's cedar forests were logged extensively in the past, particularly during the Edo Period for the production of cedar shingles. Today the forests have well recovered from past logging and are a national park, while some areas were declared a Natural World Heritage Site in 1993. Most tourists come to the island to hike through the forests and see the ancient cedar trees. - in:

Tōdai-ji is a Buddhist temple complex located in the city of Nara, Japan. Its the largest wooden building in the world and houses the world's largest bronze statue of the Buddha Vairocana. The name Vairocana in Sanskrit means Universal Light, signifying that the infinite mercy of the Buddha is extended equality to all beaings without discrimination. The position of the left hand expresses Vairocana's desire to put an end to all suffering. The right hand extends his welcome to those in the world who suffer.

The image and its pedestal were cast in the Nara Period (8th cent.) but they have been repaired many times over the ages. Very little remais of the original work. The hands, for example, were made in the 16th century, and the head and the wooden screen behind it are from the 17th century.

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