September 27, 2007

Manji


An architectural kerfuffle recently broke out thanks to Google Maps, when a Navy barracks turned out to resemble a swastika when viewed from above. The swastika is actually an ancient Sanskrit symbol associated with holiness. That is, until the Nazis stole it and ruined it in the public consciousness.

In Japan, the left-facing swastika or manji (卍) is used to indicate a Buddhist temple. In this Google map of Kamakura, every manji symbol is a temple. If the opportunity presents itself, put Kamakura on your list of places to see when you're in Japan. It's an easy day trip from downtown Tokyo.

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