I've actually had to futz around with it because the original photo sitting in my album is so dull, it's damn near impossible to view it. It's what happens when black and white film is accidentally processed as color. So, thanks to the modern miracles of an HP Live Photo Gallery program, I was able to adjust the photo to exactly what the photo looked like when I took snapped it 20 years ago. Don't worry... I'll present the original photo down below for comparison purposes.
So... just what the hell are we all looking at? The gaijin (foreigner), of course. But seriously, this is the Great Buddha (大仏 Daibutsu ), a huge outdoor bronze statue of Amida Buddha, which is a very famous iconic image of Japan.
|Famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright sits on the far left.|
Now, just so you know... Japan has been hit with some nasty storms in the past 600 years. For example, the hall covering the statue was destroyed by a storm in 1334, was rebuilt, damaged by another storm in 1369, and was rebuilt again. The last building housing the statue was washed away by a tsunami that hit on September 20th, 1498, and has since that time the Buddha has sat out in the open.
The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 destroyed the base of the statue, but it was repaired in 1925. Maintenance repairs to the statue were carried out in 1960-1961, when the neck was strengthened and measures were taken to protect it from earthquakes. See photo just above to see how the Buddha's neck is at an angle looking slightly to the right in this 1920's photo.
Some facts about the general make-up of this hollow statue:
- Weight - 121 tonnes (270,000 pounds);
- Height - 13.35 meter (43.8 feet);
- The statue was gilded in gold leaf, but nowadays, should you feel lucky, you can find traces of it near the Buddha's ears.
How awesome was the Buddha? Well, it was pretty nice despite it being crawled all over by people. You can even enter the Buddha (I think you go in through his ass). There were also a score of bloody tourists. And it was raining that day (of course). You may remember me as the star of the movie "Singing In The Rain", as I played the rain man (ame otoko), as it always rained whenever I traveled about Japan. Still, in the photo, it was only just about to rain... so I got lucky.
Oh! And here's the original photo before the touch-up. I love the original because it makes it look like the photo was taken 100 years ago:
And, here's a color photo I found on Japan-Guide.com. Notice how the mountainous area YOUR right of the statue is a lot higher in the color photo than in my photo(s). The difference of 20 years?