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Phoenix statue on the golden Pavilion Temple

Published May 20, 2022
Updated Oct 26, 2022

📍 🇯🇵 The Phoenix at Kinkaku-ji temple

Remember the lovely Golden Temple Pavilion of Kinkaku-ji?

As it rose from its ashes, the temple’s history is articulated through the mythological Phoenix figure, adorning the roof of the temple. 

The Ho-o 鳳凰 (Phoenix) motif traveled from China to Japan during the Asuka period, (mid-6th century CE). Typically painted with flames and lyrical lines, the mythic bird capable of rebirth from its ashes appears in Japanese art as a larger-than-life bird with a red hue. (See the beautiful gilded screen with Phoenix).

The Golden Phoenix at the Kinkakuji temple follows a similarly imposing presence and is considered as one of the finest examples of this mythological bird in metal art.  

____ Sources ____

>> Mishima, Yukio. The Temple of the Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji), n.d. 
>> Mosher, Gouverneur. Kyoto: A Contemplative Guide
>> What is Japanese Architecture? - Kazuo Nishi and Kazuo Hozumi, 1983
>> Symbols of Immortality: Phoenix and Lion - Lucy Birmingham

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