Asian Review

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The image of Bangkok as a "Buddhist City" in Asian countries was propagated through the cultural diplomacy of King Chulalongkorn. In the case of Japan, Nittaiji Temple in Nagoya is the representative of a Thai-Japanese relationship developed from such a Buddhist idea. Much iconic Buddhist art was created to symbolically present Thai-Japanese Buddhist relations. Today, this temple is an iconic Buddhist attraction in Nagoya City because of the enshrinement of a Buddha image and Buddha relics given by the state of Thailand as well as because of the good management by Thailand and Japan to develop this relationship. This study analyzes the outstanding features of Buddhist architecture, Buddhist artifacts and Buddhist practices in Nittaiji Temple that were created based on the concept of religious syncretism. Thailand has continuously sent Buddha representations, such as Buddha relics, Buddha images, Buddha footprints and Buddha inscriptions, to Nittaiji Temple to bind Buddhist relations between the two countries. Thailand and Japan have collaborated to create many symbols of the bilateral relationship based on the integration of contemporary Thai and Japanese Buddhist art. The concept of religious syncretism appears in the complexes of faith and practice by Buddhist visitors infl uenced by Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism coexisting with Shinto. This has resulted in Nittaiji Temple becoming an historic Buddhist site and is evidence of a successful international relationship bound by Buddhist cultural integration.



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