Buddhist Monuments In The Horyu-Ji Area Year 11 Ancient History Assessment Task III World Heritage Site Study

Essay by kirilouiseHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 2009

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Buddhist Monuments In The Horyu-Ji AreaYear 11 Ancient History Assessment Task IIIWorld Heritage Site StudyThe Buddhist Monuments in the Horyu-Ji area in the country of Japan, have their claim on the oldest surviving wooden monuments in the world. These buildings , totaling some forty-eight structures were built by Emperor Suiko and Prince Shotoku in AD 607 in the old village of Ikaruga. From its position , Horyu-Ji at the time of the early 7th century was considered to the temple which guarded the Empire, and so in turn always enjoyed the protection of he Imperial family. According to Japanese history, these buildings were destroyed by fire in AD 670. The present buildings at Horyu-Ji are estimated to have been built at the end of the 7th century. These structures at Horyu-Ji cover some 190 000 square metres and is divided into two sections. The first section being the Sai-in garan, which are the nine buildings to the west and includes the Kondo (also known as the “Golden Hall” and is one of the main temple buildings) and the Goju-no-to (a five storey pagoda), which is the oldest wooden structure at Horyu-Ji and the in the world.

The other section to the east, Toh-in garan, which holds twenty-one buildings includes the Yumedono, which is an octagonal temple dating at the 8th century and inside it contains statues from the same period. Influences from the “Silk Road” are visible here on structures, statues, carvings and paintings. The “Silk Road” being the ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean sea which extended some 4,600 kilometres and linked China to the Roman Empire. Apart from these aforementioned buildings are seventeen monasteries and other buildings and the Hokki-Ji pagoda.

These magnificent structures at Horyu-Ji are more than one of Japan's national treasures, they illustrate...