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Brian Butterfield Travel Blog

Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, Nara, Awaji Island, Himeji, Kanazawa, Naoshima (Setouchi Art Festival), Hiroshima, Fukuoka

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    Nara + Todaiji Temple

    Todaiji was constructed in 752 as the head temple of all provincial Buddhist temples of Japan and grew so powerful that the capital was moved from Nara to Nagaoka in 784 in order to lower the temple's influence on government affairs.

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    Not only does Todaiji housse Japan's largest Buddha, but it is also the world's largest wooden building, even though the present reconstruction of 1692 is only two thirds of the original temple's size.

    Pretty imposing, and after the numbing effects of countless temple visits in Kyoto, this structure renewed my sense of awe (and not just because it is gigantic). The carpentry, engineering, and design are very impressive, and the ability to partially redesign and reconstruct a building of this size, numerous times over more then a millenium and have this be the outcome is an impressive feat.

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About this Blog

The Takenaka Internship is granted yearly to one student each from the architecture schools of Yale, M.I.T. and the University of Pennsylvania. The Takenaka Corporation traces its history back more than four hundred years and this internship provides American students of architecture with a summer of valuable training at Japan's oldest architecture, engineering and construction firm. Based out of the Osaka design office, interns participate in various aspects of design and also accompany archite

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