Nara


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Nara

(nä`rä), city (1990 pop. 349,349), capital of Nara prefecture, S Honshu, Japan. An ancient cultural and religious center, it was founded in 706 by imperial decree and was modeled after Chang'an (see Xi'anXi'an
or Sian
, city (1994 est. pop. 2,114,900), capital of Shaanxi prov., China, in the Wei River valley. Situated on the Longhai RR, China's principal east-west line, it is an important commercial, tranportation, and tourism center in a wheat- and cotton-growing area.
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), the capital of T'ang China. Nara was (710–84) the first permanent capital of Japan. The noted Todai-ji temple has a 53.5-ft-high (16.3 m) image of Buddha, said to be one of the largest bronze figures in the world. Nara Park, the largest (1,250 acres/506 hectares) city park in Japan, includes the celebrated Imperial Museum, which houses ancient art treasures and relics. Near the city is wooded Mt. Kasuga, the traditional home of the gods; its trees are never cut. Also nearby is Horyu-ji, founded in 607, the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan, with the grave of Jimmu, the first emperor. Nara prefecture (1990 pop. 1,375,478), 1,425 sq mi (3,691 sq km), is largely mountainous and its population centers are in and around the capital. Agriculture, crafts, and tourism are the area's main industries.

Nara

(710–794)
A period in Japanese history characterized by the adoption of Chinese culture and form of government, named after the first permanent capital and the chief Buddhist center in ancient Japan.

Nara

 

a prefecture in the southern part of the island of Honshu, Japan, in the central part of the Kii Peninsula. Area, 3,700 sq km. Population, 948,000 (1970). The capital is the city of Nara.

Most of the prefecture consists of mountains and hills, largely covered by forests. The inhabitants engage primarily in agriculture and forestry. About one-tenth of the prefecture’s land area is under cultivation, chiefly in the Nara Basin, or Yamato. Rice, barley, and wheat are grown on small tracts of land, while terraced slopes support the cultivation of vegetables, tea, and citrus fruits. There is also sericulture. Nara has important logging and woodworking operations, as well as metalworking, textile, machine-building, and food-processing industries. Cottage production is concentrated chiefly in the cities of Nara and Sakurai.


Nara

 

a city in Japan, in the southern part of the island of Honshu; capital of the prefecture of Nara. Population, 208,300 (1970).

Nara, noted for its numerous historical landmarks, attracts tourists from all parts of the world. The city’s industries include the lathe-building, electrical engineering, food-processing, woodworking, and knitwear industries. Carved wooden toys and art objects made of bamboo and silk are also produced. The city has a university and several museums, including the Yamato Bunka-kan (art objects of Japan and China), the Nara Art Museum (Japanese, Chinese, and Korean objects of decorative and applied art), and the Nara National Museum.

Nara is one of the most ancient cities of Japan. It became the capital of the country in A.D. 710 and remained so until 784. The city has a regular layout. Among the medieval monuments that have been preserved in Nara are the wooden monastery complexes of Yakushi-ji (built in 680 near the residential buildings at Asuka and transferred to Nara in 718), with a three-story pagoda; Kofukuji (begun in 669 and moved to Nara in 710; rebuilt in the 12th and 13th centuries); Todai-ji, or Great Eastern Temple (743–752; rebuilt in the 12th, 17th, and 18th centuries), which includes the Daibutsu-den, or Hall of Great Buddha, the Shoso-in Treasure House, and the temple of Hokke-do; the To-shodai-ji (begun in 759), with the kondo (main temple hall); and the Shin-Yakushi-ji (begun in 747). The temples have sculptured altarpieces dating mainly from the eighth to 12th centuries.

Modern construction in Nara consists of primarily one- and two-story houses; several modern government buildings have been constructed, for example, the city hall, built in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. The monastery-temple at Horyuji, begun in the seventh century, is located near Nara.


Nara

 

a river in Moscow Oblast and in Kaluga Oblast (middle course), RSFSR; a left tributary of the Oka River. It is 158 km long and drains an area of 2,030 sq km. It rises in the Moscow Upland and is fed primarily by snow. High water is in April, and there are freshets from September to November. The mean flow rate 80 km from the mouth is 5.5 cu m per sec. The Nara freezes in November or December and thaws in April. The cities of Naro-Fominsk and Serpukhov are on the Nara.

Nara

a city in central Japan, on S Honshu: the first permanent capital of Japan (710--784). Pop.: 364 411 (2002 est.)
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