Thursday, July 1, 2010

Asakusa -2-

---continued from the previous posting.

I was on my way back from Thunder gate. And I saw some shops that were lining up on the Nakamise street. At this shop I could see so many kitty dolls. As you can see many of them look like Hello Kitty, and the others should be "Maneki Neko", which I introduced in this posting.

The biggest mask you see in the center is called "Hyottoko". The mask is basically worn by a clown, and the expression of the mask is said to be made when he blows fire with a bamboo.

That tower is called "Gojyuu no Tou" or five-story pagoda. It is said the remain of Buddha is enshrined in the top story, and the reason why the tower is so high was to enable people who weren't allowed to get on the premises of the temple to pray by looking at this tower from far away. This tower was destroyed during Great Tokyo Air Raids in '45, and then reconstructed in '73.

This gate to the inner temple is called "Houzou mon", and it has two stories. This was once called "Niou mon", just because it has been guarded by the two Niou statues on both sides.

And the one on the left is called "Agyou." You know when we say "A", we open the mouth like he does. This is the reason why this statue is called "A" gyou. "gyou" means a form of something. In this case a facial expression.

And on the opposite side there is this "Ungyou". You know, when we say "Un", we close our mouths like him (sorry, it is barely visible). When two person are in sync with each other, we say they have the "AUn" combination, meaning the two are like these inextricable guardians.

The main hall was under construction. This refurbishing is now under the supervision of the renowned artist "Kansai Yamamoto".Here is a link to his official website.

I found these interesting dolls on the Nakamise street. Perhaps the owner of this shop put these dolls in front of the shop since foreign people visit here and often like to wear kimonos. The red kimono costs as much as 60 us $. The white boy on the far right is wearing the bandanna that says "Ninja".

Do you know Tokyo is now building a tower called "Tokyo Sky Tree"? It is now as high as 398m, and the final height will almost double the current height to be 634m. It is going to transmit digital signals for terrestrial digital media broadcasting. Such a way of broadcasting is already under way, but with this tower, the digital signals will be less hindered by very tall buildings. For more information on this "Tokyo Sky Tree", visit this official website.

---to be continued---