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Hokkaido 2020: The Hill of Buddha

Hokkaido Trip 2020 - Day 1/01​

The Hill of Buddha (in Japanese: 頭大仏 Atama Daibutsu) is a Buddhist monument created by the renowned Japanese architect Andō Tadao (安藤 忠雄, ~ 13 Sep 1941) located at Makomanai Takino Cemetery (真駒内滝野霊園) in Sapporo, Hokkaido. The Buddha statue is 13.5 meters tall and encircled by an artificial concrete hill with over 100,000 lavender plants. The head of the Buddha protrudes from the "crater mound" on top of the hill.

Check out the video:

Some photos taken today:










Public transportation to the cemetery is a little complicated. From Sapporo Station take Namboku Line to Makomanai Station (まこまないえき, ~18 minutes, 10 stops). From Makomanai take bus No.106 and get off at Ashiribetsunotaki, it's a 20-minute walk to Makomanai Takino Cemetery. I rented a car which I recommend to get around in Hokkaido.


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I tried something similar to this:

My working title is "weeds in a wall" (tongue in cheek)

(not much transcendence in that...!)

Modern concrete sometimes reminds me of Barthes' essay on 'plastique':
(substitute 'concrete' each time you see 'plastic')

In spite of its having Greek shepherds' names (Polystyrene, Phenoplast, Polyvinyl, Polyethylene), plastic... is an essentially alchemical substance... More than a substance, plastic is the very idea of its infinite transformation. As its vulgar name indicates, it is ubiquity made visible; moreover, this is the reason why it is a miraculous substance: a miracle is always a sudden conversion of nature. Plastic remains completely impregnated by this astonishment: it is less an object than the trace of a movement... In the poetic order of major substances, plastic is a disgraced material, lost between the effusion of rubber and the flat hardness of metal: it achieves none of the true productions of the mineral order: foam, fibers, strata. It is a shaped substance: whatever its final state, plastic retains a flocculant appearance, something opaque, creamy, and coagulated, an impotence ever to attain the triumphant sleekness of Nature... Plastic is the first magical material that consents to be prosaic; but it is precisely because of its prosaic nature that it triumphs... an artificial substance, more fecund than all the world's deposits... will command the very invention of shapes.

I wonder what a buddhist might come up with if using plastic instead of concrete?

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