That Massive Column in Nara’s Todaiji Temple Is Nothing To Sneeze At
Beauty and Poise in odd circumstances  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/125 sec, f/1.4, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Beauty and Poise
in odd circumstances

In “Massive Support Column at Nara's Todai-ji TempleI noted that of the many massive columns in the 320-year-old “Hall of the Great Buddha” (until recently the largest wooden building in the world), one particular column was quite special.

Checking it Out special column at the Todaiji Temple (東大寺), Nara Japan  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Checking it Out
special column at the Todaiji Temple (東大寺), Nara Japan
In One Side...  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/60 sec, f/2.2, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
In One Side...
Out The Other  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/125 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Out The Other
Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 — 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Well-Worn Path  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 highly cropped — 1/160 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Well-Worn Path

The columns, including this one, are about 20 meters (65 feet) tall; impressive any way you look at them.

Four of Many  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 15mm — 1/5 sec, f/2.8, ISO 10000 — map & image datanearby photos
Four of Many
Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/20 sec, f/2.2, ISO 10000 — map & image datanearby photos
Slightly Different Perspective  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 15mm — 1/10 sec, f/2.8, ISO 10000 — map & image datanearby photos
Slightly Different Perspective

It was very dark inside this cavernous building, with what light there was mixed among scattered incandescent floodlights and ever-changing skylight wafting in from the occasional window. Adjusting color balance on these shots has been a nightmare, even with ample use of the color chart, because the lighting changes with each location, and over time as clouds passed.

Being Helpful as brothers are apt to be  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 highly cropped — 1/125 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Being Helpful
as brothers are apt to be
Taking Turns  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 highly cropped — 1/125 sec, f/1.4, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Taking Turns
Yanking  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/125 sec, f/1.4, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Yanking
Obvious Photo Op with the obligatory peace sign  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/125 sec, f/1.4, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Obvious Photo Op
with the obligatory peace sign

I think it's accurate to say that every person who paused for a photo flashed a peace sign. This is exceedingly common in Japan (much to the angst of non-Japanese), but here the saturation rate was a full 100%.

The unknown girl who opens this post played her part by flashing a peace sign for me, but I much prefer her natural reaction to the situation, seen 1.5 seconds earlier...

Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/125 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos

Of course, I had to give it a try.

I'm 192cm (6'4") tall, but I've gotten into pretty good shape in the last year (continuing to lose fat beyond how I was here), so I thought there might be a chance I could do it. But even if I couldn't, the attempt would make for funny pictures. Aeron had never used my model of camera, but I imposed on him to take pictures for me...

Doing My Part for random other people's photos  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Aeron, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/125 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Doing My Part
for random other people's photos
Made It!  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Aeron, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/125 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Made It!
What On Earth Is This Hole For?  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 — 1/125 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
What On Earth Is This Hole For?

One thing I haven't mentioned yet is just why people are climbing through a hole in a column in a temple housing a huge (15 meter tall) Buddha statue.

Well, I don't know why people climb through beyond the obvious “because it's there”, nor, for that matter, why the hole was made in the first place, but the salient point is that the hole is the size of one nostril of the Great Buddha statue that the building houses.

奈良東大寺大仏殿、一本の柱は穴が有ります。穴の大きさは大仏の鼻の穴の大きさと同じです。面白!

So, I guess, folks climbing through are pretending to be Buddha snot?

Wanna Try?  --  Todaiji (東大寺)  --  Nara, Japan  --  Copyright 2012 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 — 1/8 sec, f/5, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Wanna Try?

Continued here...


All 7 comments so far, oldest first...

I heard a long time ago that you will be enlightened if you can pass through the pillar.
I did it numerous times and I can still do it today. But I’ve yet to experience any enlightenment.
How about you? 🙂

You must already be lightened before you can get through… any heavy fat, and you’ll never make it. 😉 —Jeffrey

— comment by Damien on January 18th, 2013 at 12:51am JST (4 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

I visited Japan in April 2011 and my Nara Student Guide informed me that if one is able to fit through the hole in that column, he will achieve enlightenment. And I’ve seen similar information in my guide books.

— comment by Christopher on January 18th, 2013 at 2:06am JST (4 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

From what I understood when visiting Todai-ji many years ago, if you succeed in passing through the nostril-sized hole, you will be blessed with enlightenment in the next life. Whether that is what motivates people to try nowadays, I don’t know.

Gretchen (from Portland, OR)

— comment by Gretchen on January 18th, 2013 at 3:13am JST (4 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

“Being Helpful ” is a particularly awesome shot. I love it!

— comment by Marcina (Bellingham, WA) on January 18th, 2013 at 1:54pm JST (4 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

2013/01/18 00:45 Eastern Time, Burlington, Ontario Canada. Snow outside with the temperature at minus 12 degrees Celsius.

I would NEVER fit, six foot nine and about 360 pounds, no where near as svelte as Jeffery.

Mind enlightenment comes of us in many other ways too…

I wonder if and when the hole was carved, and by who for what purpose?

— comment by Bryce Lee on January 18th, 2013 at 2:38pm JST (4 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

I visited Todai-ji in April 2005 and I regret not having tried to get through the hole…
Lovely pictures as usual!

— comment by Gianluca on January 18th, 2013 at 6:50pm JST (4 years, 11 months ago) comment permalink

Lovely photos! My own visit to Nara, ten years ago, resulted in blurry photos because of the lighting and no tripod. I was very impressed by your style and also the personality in your shots. 🙂

— comment by Regina on June 19th, 2017 at 10:19pm JST (5 months, 26 days ago) comment permalink
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