Allan Keyes and The Politically Incorrect Buddah

4 Jun

June 4, 2012

This is the last of Allan Keyes’ posts about Japan and he is ending on a high note.


These pics are mostly noteworthy to me for the oddity of it. They were taken at Kiyomiza Dera temple, and our guide pointed out that the represented the only black-skinned Buddah statue from that period. He went to on assure us that the locals called this statue “Mr. Black Man” – but with reverence, as it was still a representation of the sacred Buddah.  I’m going to assume he was telling the truth on this one. Afterwards, this statue was the subject of a loooooong bus ride discussion among the members of my tour group as to if it would be wise to show pics of this guy around the office.


I really wasn’t supposed to have taken these pics – photography was forbidden of so many things on my trip.  I took many pictures in places I wasn’t supposed to, not just temples but museums as well. Quite a few of us made a game of it; we’d challenge each other to get the toughest forbidden picture. One gent from Toronto was quite good at hanging the camera off his neck like it wasn’t in use, and when nobody was looking, just press the shutter to get the pic. He got the best shots and somehow he always managed to have the camera pointed correctly. Another couple on my trip used team tactics, with the wife distracting the guard/guide with a vapid question so her husband could take a few snaps. I should apologize for the violation I suppose but well…………….

My one photography regret was that I could not sneak even a single picture of the “Temple of 1001 Buddha Statues” – It was quite possibly the most stunning statue work I have ever seen. Here is one statue that I took a picture of – from a postcard of it I was forced to buy in the gift shop:


This is an actual ancient statue in that temple. People were getting their cameras confiscated and the images wiped in this location – the monks were out in full force and were not messing around.  This is one thing I recommend you google – the images are online, and they’re some of the sickest statues you’ll ever see.  And you can see quite a few that were direct influences for Mortal Kombat and Big Trouble in Little China….

3 Responses to “Allan Keyes and The Politically Incorrect Buddah”

  1. Thomas Stazyk June 4, 2012 at 12:56 am #

    Great examples of the layers the Japanese society operates at.

    One time we were at a no photo place but to our extreme amazement, we were the only people there. The guy at the gate said, “no pictures allowed, so after you take your pictures put your camera away.”


  2. J.R.D. Skinner June 4, 2012 at 2:37 am #



  3. zathra June 4, 2012 at 5:54 am #

    The Buddha statue politically incorrect ? I have an Indonesian sculpture of the Buddha ( Balsa or some lightweight wood, light as cork, almost ), & the buddha is shown with black skin. Buddhist iconogaphy is replete w / images of blue – skinned Buddhas ( Medicine Buddha ) White & Green Taras ( Tara is a Buddhist deity ), etc.

    Buddhist iconography hasn’t got much to do w / Western aesthetics.

    I was at an exhibit of Tibetan iconography in 2001. They had some interesting pieces that made me wish that I’d brought my digital camera, even though photography was verboten.


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