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A temple in Japan has 1,200 funny and weird statues

November 23rd 2021, 8:37:20 am

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji is the quirkiest Buddhist temple in the world.

Live looking sculptures at the Otagi Nenbutsu-Ji temple [nationalarcheaology/saltybarbara]

A Buddhist temple is for Buddhist monks and priests to meditate and pray but this is not the case of Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple.

What would you expect from a Buddhist temple? An air of solemnity, seriousness and reverence.

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji temple is found in the beautiful Arashiyama area in Kyoto Hills, Tokyo. It was originally in the Higashiyama area in the eighth century but due to flooding, it had to be moved several places until it got to its current location.

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On the hills, you will see 1,200 stone sculptures of Rakan, Buddha’s disciples but instead of looking sombre and reflective, they look fun, cute, sad and, all the range of human emotions.

You will even see two statues drinking together and another statue with a camera!

The temple was not always like this. In 1955, Kocho Nishimura, a Buddhist monk and sculptor took over the temple and began to transform it.

It was amateurs who came to learn how to sculpt from Nishimura that made such whimsical statues.

Nishimura asked them to express their creativity however they wanted and that was the result.

Stopping by Kyoto and seeing the whimsical sculptures will put a smile on your face. In a vast sea of 1,200 sculptors, one sculpture might just remind you of yourself.

Though they are covered in moss, many tourists try to find their lookalike sculptures.

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Temi Iwalaiye

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