Vera Talbot: Xmas, 1924, Nara, Japan


Vera Talbot, [Travel Album through Asia, Southeast Asia, India, Africa, and Europe by Vera Talbot], 1924-26 (2009.32.68)

At the end of December, 1924, Vera Talbot and her party were tirelessly visiting the temples and shrines in Kyoto, Nikko, and Nara, happily feeding the sacred deer in Nara Park, and devotedly visiting the Great Buddhas: Nara Daibutsu (Vairocana Buddha, Todaiji Temple, Nara) and Kamakura Daibutsu (Great Buddha of Kamakura). The Kamakura Daibutsu is “a colossal copper image of Amida-butsu (Amitabha Buddha)… The fact that it sits in the open air makes it unusual amongst large Buddha statues in Japan. The Great Buddha, designated a National Treasure by the Japanese government, is some 37 feet tall and weighs around 121 tons. Kotoku-in.jp. (It doesn’t look like that Vera and friends went inside the sacred statue, as one can, “the interior is dark.”) The Great Kanto Earthquake destroyed the base of the Kamakura Daibutsu, created in the 13th century, and construction of a new base is visible in Vera’s photo.

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