Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Making a Shrine
Weekly, structures around my apartment are demolished while others are being replaced. Older structures are torn down because they are old, earthquake-non-safe and the land they sit on is much more valuable. Typically after something is torn-down, it will sit as a lot for two months before something else new starts being built. Typically when something starts to get built it takes about two months to finish and occupied in three. Since I moved into my apartment in early 2009, well over 25 structures within five blocks of my apartment have been replaced. One day in February 2009, the building above, across the street from my apartment and easy to see from the 7th floor was removed to clear a corner lot. And, that-was-it till November 2009.Boom, scaffolding everywhere, foundation being laid, large crane, what could it be?Two days later, it became obvious, they were making a shrine (or maybe a temple, I'm still not really sure). And I was excited because I never had the opportunity to watch someone make a shrine.Within five days of starting the overall shape was roughed in. Although modern power tools were being used to make the structure, traditional methods of construction were also being used. For example, no nails.By day six, this shrine was covered in plastic (everything under construction in Japan is covered - ASAP), it seem they were ready to go full bore, make a shrine, then nothing. Everyone left.Then one day three months later, late February 2010 the construction workers came back, started working details on the shrine.Five days later from the re-start, still working. Luckily I'm at work when most of this is being built. I usually just see the final daily results and this week work seem to be unstoppable....Until it stopped. Again another long pause for three months, partial shrine just sat there covered in plastic, until May 2010.May 2010 the workers showed back up and laid down the room sub-structure. The roof structure went on fast and again a pause for another month till this past week when tiles were put on the roof. If you look at the photo above you see a gray tile building behind the red brick building. The gray tile building is where I think the monks who are making the shrine live.This is where we are today... work idle...The theory the monks can't raise money fast enough to make this logically. So during time of no-work on the shrine, the monks are out working the streets trying to make some cash to pay for this. It has been over a year since the foundation was laid, I guessing it will be another 6 months before it is finished. I'm hoping the monks throw a big party when they finish, but don't worry, this is part 1 and I will update.