|One hundred years since the the creation of the first cultured pearl, we
completed this Yume-dono Pavilion as a splendid artistic work originating
in the octagonal Buddhist pavilion, Yume-dono of Horyuji temple in Nara.
Japanese traditional techniques such as lacquer work, shell work and metal work are used and beautiful Mikimoto pearls are used extensively.
The ornament on the top is made of 18k gold, with 52 beautifully shining diamonds and pearls. A large south sea pearl (13.4X13.2mm) is set on the tip. This ornament itself is turned by an electic motor.
Pieces of black lipped pearl pyster shells are used for the roofing tiles, on which pearls are set. The ridge of the roof and the eaves are made of 18K gold. Emeralds and sapphires are also used as roof decoration. The slope of the roof steeper than the original model. There are two types of gargoyle which have eyes made of rubies.
The octagonal body of the temple is made of lacquered wood and the heavenly maidens are engraves on the gold wall. A gold knocker decorated with an emrald hangs under the eaves. Looking from the opend door on the south, you can see the sanctuary which is made with lipped pearl oyster shells while a big pearl, 4.0cm in diameter.
White lipped pearl oyster shells are applied to the base which gives out subtle changes of reflected light. The gold wire and pearls appear on all sides of the base. This expresses28 constellations showing each of the seven constellations of the four seasons.
The massive octagonal pedestal is matt black, with four 22k gold emblems which are engraved to express the guardian deities of the cardinal directions ; a dragon on the east, a sparrow on the south, a tiger on the west and a turtle on the north. 6,260 pearls are placed on the pedestal.
Behind the black rail stand 12 priests. Each priest has the animal face of one of the twelve Japanese zodiacal signs, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, cock, dog and boar and each holds his birthstones.
The original Yume-dono Pavilion was constructed in 739 and is a typical example of the architecture of the period.
Yume-dono was named after the legend of Prince Shotoku. He had a dream(Yume) of Buddha who told him to build a temple(dono).