Saturday, August 21, 2010

Spotlight on Kiyomizu-Dera

Above, Kiyomizu-dera's stage on the main building undergoing renovation in August 2004.

Spotlight on Kiyomizu-Dera

Text and Photos by Armand Vaquer

In Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), Godzilla passes Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto while seaching for Baby Godzilla.

According to Wikipedia:

Kiyomizu-dera (清水寺?), officially Otowa-san Kiyomizu-dera (音羽山清水寺) is an independent Buddhist temple in eastern Kyoto. The temple is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) UNESCO World Heritage site.

Kiyomizu-dera was founded in the early Heian period. The temple dates back to 798, and its present buildings were constructed in 1633.

I visited Kiyomizu-dera in August 2004 with G-TOUR and found it to be one of my highlights of the trip. Although the walk to the temple was a tad strenuous (it is on a steep hill), the beauty of the temple and its surroundings were well worth the hike.

Above, Kyoto as seen from the stage of Kiyomizu-dera's main building. Note Kyoto Tower, which was blasted by Godzilla in "Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II."

The main building of the temple with its stage was shown in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II with Godzilla in the background. At the time of our visit, it was undergoing renovation. It was built over Otowa waterfall. Kiyomizu means clear water, or pure water.

Kiyomizu also has a pagoda (left) and down the hill from the temple are numerous shops that would satisfy the most rabid shopper.

The Monster Movie Fan's Guide To Japan provides directions on how to get to Kiyomizu-dera.

For more on Kiyomizu-dera, go here.

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Burbank, CA – March 29, 2010 – Legendary Pictures announced today that they will develop and produce a new film based on Toho Company’s famed GODZILLA character. Through the terms of the agreement, Legendary Pictures has acquired the rights to produce a movie inspired by Toho’s Godzilla, a franchise the Japanese company created and has nurtured for over fifty years.

Toho’s GODZILLA franchise boasts one of the most widely recognized film creatures worldwide, resulting in a series of books, television programs, video games and more than 25 films worldwide. Legendary intends to approach the film and its characters in the most authentic manner possible. The company will, in the near future, announce a filmmaker to helm the film for an intended 2012 release. The film will fall under the company’s co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Toho will distribute the film in Japan."

"Godzilla" is coming back -- this time, with Legendary Pictures taking the lead, co-producing and co-financing with Warner Bros. for release in 2012.

Legendary announced Monday it had obtained rights to the iconic monster character from Japan's Toho Co., which has overseen more than 25 "Godzilla" films. Toho will release the pic in Japan.

Legendary said it's planning to announce a director shortly.

In addition to Legendary, producers on the new film will be Dan Lin, Roy Lee and Brian Rogers. Yoshimitsu Banno, Kenji Okuhira and Doug Davison will exec produce.

"Godzilla is one of the world's most powerful pop culture icons, and we at Legendary are thrilled to be able to create a modern epic based on this long-loved Toho franchise," said Thomas Tull, Chairman and CEO of Legendary. "Our plans are to produce the Godzilla that we, as fans, would want to see. We intend to do justice to those essential elements that have allowed this character to remain as pop-culturally relevant for as long as it has."

Legendary noted the film will fall under its co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Legendary's productions with Warners have included "The Dark Knight," "300" and "The Hangover."

Speculation about a new "Godzilla" has been active since last summer. The Bloody Disgusting web site reported in August that the project was in development.