Ancient Japan visits India

Ancient Japan visits India

Ancient Japan visits India

After showcasing the temple-monuments of Kyoto and the natural heritage of the island country, the Japan Foundation in Delhi is now exhibiting a photography collection of the ancient monuments of Japan. Titled Incense of Ancient Japan, it focuses on unique ar­c­hi­tecture of monuments in the Japan of yore.

The exhibition is a part of the ‘Japan heritage’ photo exhibitions that the Japan Foundation has been holding since mid-June. This is the third part of the exhibit.

Yusuke Matsuoka, Director for Arts and Cultural Exchange, The Japan Foundation says, “The World Heritage Convention is a document adopted in 1972 by a general session of UNESCO in Paris. Its aim is to preserve for future generations the cultural and natural legacies of the world with conspicuous and universal value.

“Japan and 186 other countries signed the convention in July 2011. As of July 2011, there were 936 World Heritage sites in Japan. The World Heritage sites of Japan that were registered in 1993 for the first time included the Shirakami-Sanchi Mountain Range, Yaku-shima lsland, Himeji-jo Castle and the Buddhist monuments of the Horyu-ji Temple Area,” he adds.

The Shirakami-Sanchi range and Yaku-shima lsland have the largest untouched virgin forest covers of Japan while Himeji-jo Castle is the finest surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture. It comprises 83 buildings with highly developed systems of defence and ingenious protection devices dating from the beginning of the Shogun period.

In the following years and through the end of 1999, the Hiroshima peace memorial- Genbaku Dome, Itsukushima-jinja shrine - dedicated to the Japanese God of seas and storms, the historic monuments of Ancient Nara City and ancient Kyoto (Kyoto City, Uji City and Otsu City), the Gassho-zukuri villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama and the shrines and temples of Nikko were added to the list.

At the end of 2000, Gusuku site and related properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu (15-19 century) including Shun-jo castle were added to the list. In 2004, sacred sites and pilgr­image routes in the Ku mountain range and the cultural landscapes that surround them were also added to the list.

In 2005, Shiretoko - the last pristine wilderness known to survive in Japan, was added to the list of natural property while in June 2011, Ogasawara Islands were added to the list. Hiraizumi temples, gardens and archaeological sites representing the ‘Buddhist pure land’ were also added to the list of cultural property.

All of these and more are part of the exhibition at the Japan Foundation. It will be open to the public till July 28.

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