Kōtoku-in – Great Buddha – Japan
The land of the rising sun – Japan – with its rich culture, history, and believes – has always attracted loads of tourists from across the world. One of the famous tourist destinations of Japan is the Great Buddha of Kamakuru who sits in the open air of the Kōtoku-in Temple in Kamakura, Japan.
Magnificence and History of the Great Buddha
This bronze statue of the Great Buddha of the Kōtoku-in temple dates back to 1252. It is the image of Amitabha Buddha and is 13.5 meters tall weighing 121 tons. Going by statistics, this National Treasure of Japan is the second largest statue of Buddha after that of the Great Buddha in Todai-ji Temple of Nara. Nonetheless, the Great Buddha of the Kōtoku-in temple is an authentic piece of Japanese Buddhist art which dates decades of years back.
As per history this statue was built after the giant wooden statue of Buddha got destroyed in 1243 by a storm. Following this, the Buddhist priest Jōkō of Tōtōmi gave the suggestion of creating another statue and this time with bronze. The statue at that time was again built within a temple but it the following years heavy natural lashings of rain and storm destroyed the temple and ever since then, from 1495, the statue has remained in the open air. At times some doubts have also been raised as to whether the current statue is the same as the one which was created in 1252.
The statue of the Great Buddha of the Kōtoku-in temple is known to be gilded and there also have been found traces of gold near the ears of the statue. The cast of the statue was either created by Ōno Gorōemon or Tanji Hisatomo, both of whom were renowned casters of that period. As the statue is hollow, it is possible for the visitors to see inside it and it is because of this reason too that a number of graffiti are found inside the Great Buddha.
A number of catastrophes, the last being The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, have tried to cause harm to the statue of the Great Buddha but, every time the followers have been able to save the huge piece of art and belief.
Place of Reverence
The Great Buddha of the Kōtoku-in temple is revered by the Buddhists all across the world and is also frequented by many who come to pay their respects to the Lord. The easiest way of reaching the Great Buddha is to walk for 5 to 10 minutes after getting down at the Hase station which is the third station when you take the Enoden railway line from the Kamakura station. Though the statue is open for public visit throughout the year but, there are specific visiting hours and also an admission fees is required to see the statue both from outside and inside.
Any trip to Japan is incomplete without paying a visit to the Great Buddha of the Kōtoku-in temple.
Weight; 121 tonnes (270,000 pounds)
Height; 13.35 m (43.8 ft)
Length of Face; 2.35 m (7.7 ft)
Length of Eye; 1.0 m (3.3 ft)
Length of Mouth; 0.82 m (2.7 ft)
Length of Ear; 1.90 m (6.2 ft)
Length from knee to knee; 9.10 m (29.9 ft)
Circumference of thumb; 0.85 m (2.8 ft)