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The Temple of Gold
The Kinkaku-ji is an intermediate Metal Earth model. It consists of 29 pieces on three sheets of gold-colored metal. The "Temple of the Golden Pavilion" is a Buddhist sanctuary in Kyoto, Japan.
Each Metal Earth model is laser etched in meticulous detail on one, two, or three 11 cm (4.33") metal sheets. Pop out the pieces by hand (or use wire cutters to get especially crisp lines), bend the tabs using needle-nose pliers, and fit them together as shown in the simple pictorial instructions. Metal Earth models are a little less challenging than our 3D wooden puzzles, but you do need some patience and dexterity because they're also much smaller. For maximum dramatic effect, display your model on the LED Display Base or the Solar Spinner (sold separately, see the Related Products tab).
Please note that Metal Earth models have sharp edges and are not suitable for small children. Metal Earth was originally called MetalWorks.
Are you curious...?
The top two stories of Kinkaku-ji (literally "Temple of the Golden Pavilion," its official name is Rokuon-ji, "Deer Garden Temple") are covered in pure gold leaf. It houses some of Buddha's ashes and is one of Japan's most popular attractions.
A villa belonging to a powerful statesman originally occupied the site. Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu bought the villa in 1397 and transformed it into the Kinkaku-ji complex. His son converted it into a Zen temple after Yoshimitsu died. All of the buildings except the pavilion were burned down during the Onin War of 1467-77. After the restoration, things were pretty placid until 1950, when a 22-year-old novice monk burned down the pavilion and botched his own suicide. He was sentenced to seven years in prison but released early due to mental illness; he died of tuberculosis in 1955, the same year that the present pavilion was rebuilt -- possibly better than before, as some say that the original didn't have as much gold leaf.
The gold was intended to purify any negative thoughts and feelings toward death. It was also intended to impress visitors, and it clearly succeeds at that.