KYOTO–Byodoin temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, has unveiled a full-scale reproduction of the interior of its Phoenix Hall.
The vividly colored model is a replica of the original hall, constructed in 1053 and a designated national treasure.
To recreate the interior, pillars and beams in the hall were studied with fluorescent X-rays and other devices. Designs were then copied and printed on vinyl chloride sheets. Finally, the sheets were affixed to the plain structures at the reproduction site.
Among the colorful pictures on the model are bosatsu (Bodhisattva) singing while playing instruments with green or purple phoenixes surrounding them.
The model, which measures 11 meters wide by five meters tall, recreates the front door of the eastern part of Phoenix Hall as well as the pillars and beams around the door. Through this artistic endeavor, Byodoin temple has recreated an image of heaven expressed in the Heian period (794-1192).
“Visitors can experience the vision of heaven people held in the Heian period,” said Monsho Kamii, Byodoin temple’s chief priest.
The model was opened to the public on Thursday at Byodoin Museum Hoshokan.
(Yomiuri Shimbun, Apr. 21, 2012)