Great Buddha of Kotoku-in

Buddhism has thrived in Japan for several centuries and one of its greatest symbols is the Great Buddha, locally known as Daibatsu of the Kotoku-in Temple in Kamakura.

Iconic monument

The 13.35 metre tall statue of Buddha was cast in the seated position in 1252 AD. The construction of this iconic monument was credited to Monk Joko and Lady Inada, a courtier in the palace of the Yoritomo Minamoto, the founder of the Kamakura shogunate. What sets this statue apart is that it was financed entirely by the devotees with no royal support whatsoever. The statue originally sat within a great temple hall which was destroyed by an earthquake and a subsequent tsunami in 1495. The statue has sat outdoors ever since.

Serene backdrop

The serenity of the temple is reflected in the natural beauty of the surrounding verdant hills.

The statue is believed to have been gilded during its glory days and the glitter seems to have fallen prey to the ravages of time. Nevertheless, the sheer size of the Great Buddha and the ingenuity of its construction in the 13th century make this national monument worth a visit.