Our Presence as a Hall – A New ‘Place of Solace’

While a ‘堂’ (‘dō’ or hall) refers to temple buildings like a kondō or some dōtō, that enshrines Buddhist deities, it is also used to describe places and buildings where many people gather, like a ‘食堂’ (shokudō or a dining room), ‘講堂’ (kōdō or lecture hall), or a ‘公会堂’ (kōkaidō or public hall). The Kuwahara Yakushido Hall guarded by Kuwahara district, has provided a place of solace for the people of Kannami town for many years. This spiritual role underlays the planning and design of the Kannami Buddha Statues Museum to make it appear like a ‘堂’ (dō) or hall. Built as a place to enshrine the Buddha statues used to be in place of the Kuwahara Yakushidō Hall, the goal of our museum is to make a building that will be more than a simple square building. Special attention was paid to the geometry of the roofs to assimilate a roof of ‘do’ or hall. With this in mind, pavilion-style roofs were designed in the hope that the museum would become a symbol of Kuwahara and eventually of Kannami Town as a whole. The museum has also planned to be a focal point for tourism and cultural activities in the region. It is our hope that the museum will play the role of a public hall; the museum will provide the community of Kannami Town a new place of solace.