Photobook of Nara and Kioto [sic], Japan

Photobook of Nara and Kioto [sic], Japan

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Title: Photobook of Nara and Kioto [sic], Japan
Dates: circa 1860-1870
Quantity: 0.2 Linear feet (1 half box)
Abstract:The collection consists of a photobook containing 24 photos, approximately 6" x 8" each. The photos depict Nara and Kyoto, Japan.
Coll. Number: ms2071

Biographical/Historical Note

The city of Nara, the prefectural capital, is located in the hilly northeastern edge of the Nara Basin, 25 miles (40 km) east of Osaka. It was the national capital of Japan from 710 to 784 - when it was called Heijo-kyo - and retains the atmosphere of ancient Japan. The city is most noted for the many ancient Japanese Buddhist buildings and artifacts in and around the city, including the Seven Great (and many ancient but lesser) Temples of Nara. The five-storied pagoda of the Kofuku Temple dates from 710. The Todai Temple (745-752) is noted for the Daibutsu, or Great Buddha, a giant statue about 50 feet (15 m) high that is housed in the Great Buddha hall, one of the largest wooden buildings in the world. The nearby Shoso Repository (761), a log storehouse raised above the ground on stilts, was built to hold the thousands of 8th-century treasures of the Todai Temple. Its artwork and artifacts (now housed in fireproof concrete buildings) include jewels, musical instruments, masks, paintings, sculpture, samples of calligraphy, and household items. The Grand Shrine of Kasuga is one of Japan's oldest Shinto shrines. The Toshodai and Yakushi temples are also within Nara. The Horyu Temple, at Ikaruga, southwest of the city, is Japan's oldest surviving temple, and its compound abounds with priceless paintings and carvings and some of the most ancient wooden buildings in the world. These ancient remnants of early Japanese civilization form the basis of Nara's tourism industry, which has wide appeal to foreigners as well as Japanese. Nara's status as a national cultural monument is reflected in a Japanese proverb: "See Nara and die"; i.e., one can die content if one has seen Nara. The historic monuments at Nara were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998. The city is also a leading commercial and educational centre and has some manufacturing. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Retrieved 4/21/2009.

Tke city of Kyoto is the seat of Kyoto fu (urban prefecture), west-central Honshu island, Japan. It is located some 30 miles (50 km) northeast of the industrial city of Osaka and about the same distance from Nara, another ancient centre of Japanese culture. Gently sloping downward from north to south, the city averages 180 feet (55 metres) above sea level. Kyoto fu is at the centre of Kinki chiho (region). The city is one of the centres (with nearby Osaka and Kobe) of the Keihanshin Industrial Zone, the second largest urban and industrial agglomeration in Japan. The capital of Japan for more than 1,000 years (from 794 to 1868), Kyoto (literally, "Capital City") has been called a variety of names through the centuries - Heian-kyo ("Capital of Peace and Tranquillity"), Miyako ("The Capital"), and Saikyo ("Western Capital"), its name after the Meiji Restoration (1868) when the imperial household moved to Tokyo. The contemporary phrase sekai no Kyoto ("the world's Kyoto") reflects the reception of Japanese culture abroad and Kyoto's own attempt to keep up with the times. Nevertheless, Kyoto is the centre of traditional Japanese culture and of Buddhism, as well as of fine textiles and other Japanese products. The deep feeling of the Japanese people for their culture and heritage is represented in their special relationship with Kyoto - all Japanese try to go there at least once in their lives, with almost a third of the country's population visiting the city annually. Several of the historic temples and gardens of Kyoto were collectively added as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1994. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Retrieved 4/21/2009.


Arranged in chronological order.

Index Terms

Kyoto (Japan)--Photographs.
Nara-shi (Japan)--Photographs.
Photograph albums.

General Notes

Photobook of Nara and Kyoto, Japan

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Photobook of Nara and Kioto, Japan, circa 1860-1870. MS 2071. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

1Photobook, circa 1860-1870