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Noriaki Iwashima gestures as he lies in a coffin to try it out during an end-of-life seminar held by Japan's largest retailer Aeon Co in Tokyo October 24, 2014. (Photo by Toru Hanai/Reuters)

Noriaki Iwashima gestures as he lies in a coffin to try it out during an end-of-life seminar held by Japan's largest retailer Aeon Co in Tokyo October 24, 2014. Funeral arrangements are normally left to those who have been left behind but the latest trend in Japan, which literally translates to “End of life” preparations, is for the ageing to prepare their own funerals and graves before they set off on their journey to the great beyond. With a population that is expected to shrink by nearly 30 million people over the next 50 years, the market for funerals, graves and anything related to the afterlife is still very much alive. (Photo by Toru Hanai/Reuters)
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10 Nov 2014 13:48:00
The Borobudur temple seen illuminated during Vesak Day, commonly known as “Buddha's birthday”, at the Borobudur Mahayana Buddhist monument on May 6, 2012 in Magelang, Indonesia. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)

The Borobudur temple seen illuminated during Vesak Day, commonly known as “Buddha's birthday”, at the Borobudur Mahayana Buddhist monument on May 6, 2012 in Magelang, Indonesia. Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the Borobudur temple annually, which makes it the most visited tourist attraction in Indonesia. Vesak is observed during the full moon in May or June and the ceremony centers around three Buddhist temples, whereby pilgrims walk from Mendut to Pawon, ending at Borobudur. The stages of life of Buddhism's founder, Gautama Buddha, which are celebrated at Vesak are his birth, enlightenment to Nirvana, and his passing. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
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15 May 2014 08:37:00
Buddhists march on the street as they prepare for the buddha's birthday in Seoul. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

The Lantern Festival in Seoul, South Korea, celebrates Buddha’s birthday. Buddha was born approximately 2,557 years ago; the exact date is unknown, but Buddha’s official birthday is celebrated on the full moon in May in South Korea, which is May 17 this year. Photo: Buddhists march on the street as they prepare for the buddha's birthday in Seoul. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun)
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13 May 2013 11:14:00
Wang Zi Won’s Mechanical Buddhas

South Korean artist Wang Zi Won creates enlightened robots, including the Buddha and an idealized mechanical doll based upon himself, as a guidepost for a future in which technology lead to self-actualization.
Humans will evolve and adapt themselves to enhanced science and technology just as men and animals in the past evolved to adapt themselves to their natural circumstances. The artist sees this as our destiny, not as a negative, gloomy dystopia.
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22 Mar 2013 12:02:00
Buddha

The Leshan Giant Buddha was built during the Tang Dynasty (618–907AD). It is carved out of a cliff face that lies at the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan. The stone sculpture faces Mount Emei, with the rivers flowing below his feet. It is the largest carved stone Buddha in the world[1] and it is by far the tallest pre-modern statue in the world.
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14 Jul 2012 04:50:00


Buddhist monks pray at Borobudur temple on Vesak Day, commonly known as “Buddha's birthday”, at the Borobudur Mahayana Buddhist monument on May 17, 2011 in Magelang, Indonesia. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
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17 May 2011 12:03:00