The Yomiuri Shimbun
KYOTO–Byodo-in temple in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, has used computer graphics to recreate the colorful interior of the Hoo-do (Phoenix Hall) as it was believed to look at the time of the temple’s founding in 1053.
The temple is part of a cluster of old temples and shrines in Kyoto and Shiga prefectures collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An exterior view of the Hoo-do appears on Japan’s 10 yen coin.
The CG images, which show colorful patterns on pillars, beams and a shumidan altar for enshrining Buddhist statues, are on display at the Hoshokan museum on the temple grounds. The original colors of the hall interior have faded over the centuries.
“[The CG images] evoke a peaceful sea bottom,” said Monsho Kamii, 47, chief priest of the temple.
According to the temple, particles of lapis lazuli, a blue mineral that was precious when the temple was built, were discovered around the altar. Therefore, the altar platform is colored in vivid blue in the 3-D images. Its sides are decorated with elegant mother-of-pearl work in the reproduced images.
Experts determined the types of paints originally applied to the pillars and beams and reproduced color sketches of the interior.
The wall color was determined to be blue based on the color coordination of the interior, according to the temple.
Two CG images and selections from a group of 13 color sketches will be displayed alternately until Aug. 6.
(Apr. 20, 2010 Yomiuri Shimbun)