PLACES

The Great Buddha of Kamakura / 鎌倉大仏

2013.05.05 [PLACES,WHAT'S NEW]

The Great Buddha of Kamakura / 鎌倉大仏

 石の台座に座り、優しい顔で鎮座する国宝「鎌倉大仏=(高徳院・銅造阿弥陀如来坐像)」海外では、
日本のシンボル的存在として紹介されることも数多くあります。

 

One of the most famous, most iconic images of Japan would have to be that of the National Treasure
designated Great Buddha of Kamakura sitting on a stone pedestal, hands together in contemplation,
serenely looking over the treetops of ancient Kamakura.

 

 

現在の「鎌倉大仏」の元となる青銅製の大仏が造られはじめたのは、1252年。1334年、1369年の2回の台風と
1498年9月20日に起きた地震(明応地震)と津波によって、大仏殿が損壊したと言われており(1369年以降
大仏殿は存在しなかったという説もあり)それ以降、現在のように外に鎮座する大仏となりました。

 

The giant statue of Amida Buddha, the “Buddha of Infinite Light”, dates back to 1252. 
The great hall in which it was housed was destroyed by storms in 1334 and again in 1369 and rebuilt
a third time. That building was destroyed by a Tsunami following the Magnitude 8.6 Meio Nankaido
earthquakeon September 20, 1498, and the Great Buddha has remained outdoors ever since, in the
infinite light. The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 severely damaged the statues stone base, but this
was repaired two years later.

 

 

 

かつては、金箔で覆われていたと言われる「鎌倉大仏」ですが現在も、表面などに、その名残を見ることが
できます。高さ13.35m(台座を含む)、重さ121トンの大仏は、外から眺めるだけでも、そのサイズに圧倒
されますが、この「鎌倉大仏」は、大仏の中に入っての見学も可能です。

1892年、イギリス人作家・詩人のルドヤード・キプリングはこの「鎌倉大仏」を題材に、とても素晴らしい
ポエムを書いています。最後に紹介しましょう。

 

Once completely covered in gold leaf, the statue is 13.35 meters tall and weighs 121 tonnes.
Being hollow, visitors can inspect theinside of the giant casting. 

This world famous icon of Japan, the Great Buddha of Kamakura was further immortalized in this
wonderful verse by British author and poet Rudyard Kipling in 1892…. 

 

 

Buddha at Kamakura (1892) / Rudyard Kipling

‘And there is a Japanese idol at Kamakura.’ 

O ye who tread the Narrow Way

By Tophet-flare to Judgment Day,

Be gentle when “the heathen” pray

  To Buddha at Kamakura!

 

To him the Way, the Law, apart,

Whom Maya held beneath her heart,

Ananda’s Lord, the Bodhisat,

  The Buddha of Kamakura.

 

For though he neither burns nor sees,

Nor hears ye thank your Deities,

Ye have not sinned with such as these,

  His children at Kamakura,

 

Yet spare us still the Western joke

When joss-sticks turn to scented smoke

The little sins of little folk

  That worship at Kamakura —

 

The grey-robed, gay-sashed butterflies

That flit beneath the Master’s eyes.

He is beyond the Mysteries

  But loves them at Kamakura.

 

And whoso will, from Pride released,

Contemning neither creed nor priest,

May feel the Soul of all the East

  About him at Kamakura.

 

Yea, every tale Ananda heard,

Of birth as fish or beast or bird,

While yet in lives the Master stirred,

  The warm wind brings Kamakura.

 

Till drowsy eyelids seem to see

A-flower ‘neath her golden htee

The Shwe-Dagon flare easterly

  From Burmah to Kamakura,

 

And down the loaded air there comes

The thunder of Thibetan drums,

And droned — “Om mane padme hums”

  A world’s-width from Kamakura.

 

Yet Brahmans rule Benares still,

Buddh-Gaya’s ruins pit the hill,

And beef-fed zealots threaten ill

  To Buddha and Kamakura.

 

A tourist-show, a legend told,

A rusting bulk of bronze and gold,

So much, and scarce so much, ye hold

  The meaning of Kamakura?

 

But when the morning prayer is prayed,

Think, ere ye pass to strife and trade,

Is God in human image made

No nearer than Kamakura?

 

 

鎌倉大仏殿高徳院

WEBサイト:http://www.kotoku-in.jp(Japanese)

      http://www.kotoku-in.jp/en/top.html(English)

 

 


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