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The Four Great TemplesBuddhist Art, Archaeology, and Icons of Seventh-Century Japan$
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Donald F. McCallum

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831141

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831141.001.0001

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(p.155) Chapter Three Kawaradera
The Four Great Temples

Donald F. McCallum

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter discusses the history, construction, utilization, and excavation of the temple Kawaradera. An important feature distinguishing Kawaradera from Asukadera and Kudara Ōdera is the occurrence of related ground plans and roof tiles at temples located throughout the country. This situation relates to important developments taking place in political institutions during the third quarter of the seventh century, which are different in character from those of the first half of the century. Thus, the chapter emphasizes the impact of Kawaradera on a number of other temples, including those located around the Ōtsu capital; on Kanzeonji in Kyushu to the south-west; and on Shimotsuke Yakushiji in the Kantō region to the northeast. This analysis offers new insights into the broader situation of at least one of the Four Great Temples. Particularly important is the elucidation of historical connections between an important capital temple and a variety of other temples located in other areas.

Keywords:   Kawaradera, ground plans, roof tiles, Buddhist temples, Buddhist architecture, Buddhism

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