Each new year is associated with an animal in a 12-year cycle which is found across the eastern Silk Roads and 2023 is the year of the hare or rabbit. This recalls a design which is found across the Silk Roads in Buddhist, Christian and Islamic contexts, the so-called ‘Three Hares’.
Despite the great variation in Buddhist art and architecture across the centuries throughout Eurasia, many sites still to this day embrace an aesthetic based on rich décor, bright colours, and elaborate patterns.
Nestling in the foothills at the southern end of the Nara basin in Japan is the village of Asuka. This region, full of ancient tombs and temples, is the focus of the Japan chapter of our Nara to Norwich story.