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33 is also a number sacred to Kannon as the bodhisattva was thought to have had 33 manifestations and the most important pilgrimage route in his honour stops at 33 temples.There is a single entrance on all four sides, a veranda around the building, and the roof is tiled and gently sloping outwards and upwards at the corners.The huge temple building has only one storey but is 120 metres (393 ft) long and 16.5 metres (54 ft) wide.The colloquial name of the building means 'a hall with 33 spaces between columns' and describes the facade of the building.The giant seated golden figure of Kannon is a National Treasure of Japan and represents the familiar vision of the all-seeing, all-encompassing bodhisattva with eleven faces (one normal head and then one each for the eight directions plus one for heaven and one for earth) and 1,000 arms (a number representing infinity in Sanskrit).This figure has the eleven faces represented as a crown of heads and 20 pairs of arms.Made by a team of sculptors over a period of 15 years, they are near-identical with only very minor differences in facial expression and folds of the robe.Set in ten parallel tiers, they all face the same direction, east, and each has 20 arms and a halo with rays.
The tradition continues today in the annual ) as opposed to the more common temple architecture influenced by China.
Kannon sits on an octagonal lotus flower with seven levels of petals. Ink inscriptions inside the body of the figure and on the lotus seat indicate it is the work of the great Kamakura Period (1185-1333 CE) sculptor Tankei, who was the leader of the Kei-ha school of Buddhist sculpture and who would have been 82 at its time of creation in 1254 CE.
Either side of the seated Kannon figure filling half the temple are 1,000 smaller statues of Kannon, each being around 1.7 metres (5.5 ft) in height.
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