August 15, 2017
Let me tell you a story:
Just outside of Sapporo, Japan there was a Buddha on a hill, it had been there for 15 years and although it was impressive (all 1500 tons of it) it just sat on the hill.
That’s fine for a building but a statue of Buddha deserves something more, it needed to be at rest, at one with its surroundings.
The town searched for an answer and one day a man arrived on the hill, an architect named Tadao Ando, a man who understood.
He said they should hide the Buddha. Hide the Buddha the town cried? How could you do such a thing?
Tadao sat down and looked at their worried faces and quietly spoke: “by hiding the Buddha you will see it more”
Ok, so that’s probably not exactly how it happened (apart from in my own head) but nevertheless the Budhha at the Makomanai Cemetery was hidden and surrounded with 150,000 lavender plants. It now sits on the hill, but with only its head peering above the landscape. You can read all about it here. But the moral of my story still stands – sometimes when things are hidden we see them more.