Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Crown Wars

When I first came to Japan I couldn't help but notice that all the Buddha statues had hats on. In all the pictures of Buddha I had seen I ddn't remember seeing him in a hat but as it was every statue I passed I figured it must have some major importance. Luckily one of my Student lived in a temple as her husband and eldest son were both monks and so one day I finally asked her what the significance behind the red hat was. She looked at me a little confused at first then answered; "it's so he wont get cold". Naturally I laughed thinking she was joking but as her face contorted into greater confusion I quickly controlled myself and gave her a questioning look. She went on to explain that Japan has very long, cold winters and people were worried that as Buddha was bald and usually naked from the waist up he would get cold. So every winter the women of the temple would make him a hat and a little bib to help him get through the winter. At first I wasn't sure if she was completely taking the piss but over time (and four long, cold winters) I have come to think of it as a very nice thing to do. Scotland is also cold but I never remember seeing anyone knit Jesus a hat. Then I found this

However I also found this

which made me question how reliable a source google images is?

My interest was tweaked however so I went in search of a hat for Jesus and stumbled upon the news of Swiebodzin, a town in Poland, which recently unveiled the worlds largest Jesus statue. The effigy itself is 33 meters tall (one for every year Jesus lived apparently) and the base is 15 meters making it 48 meters tall. The Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro stands at 39.6 meters making this a bit of a Tokyo tower vs Eiffel tower situation.

You see Tokyo tower is actually 28ft taller that the Eiffel tower but only because it has a really long pole on top. The fact remains that the Eiffel tower is much more impressive than it's Japanese counterpart. The same can be said for the Brazil vs Poland Jesus. The one in Poland is taller but the one in Brazil is surely more impressive.

I think the people in Poland realised this and decided that their Jesus had to be even bigger and so the final height of Polish Jesus is 51 meters (167ft). And what gives Polish Jesus this extra height? You spied it. His CROWN!!!!

That's right Polish Jesus has a HUGE gold crown to make him tower over Brazilian Jesus. This is good news for Brazil who merely need to get their Jesus an even bigger crown to get the world title back. I have attached some photos of my favorite crowns for consideration.

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