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Gingaku-ji 銀閣寺 | by Tim Wilko
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Gingaku-ji 銀閣寺


Ginkaku temple, Kyoto, Japan.


This is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto, but as it was being refurbished when I first arrived in Japan I had never been there until recently.


Commissioned by Ashikaga Yoshimasa, it was orignially intended to be covered in silver, emulating Kinkaku-ji (golden-pavilion temple) that was commissioned by Yoshimasa’s grandfather.


Unfortunately that work could not be completed before Yoshimasa’s death, so the temple remains in its unfinished state to this day. Because of this it is often cited as an example of the Japanese aesthetic of “wabi-sabi” (beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”).

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Taken on November 27, 2011