World Sign
Vol. 85: Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat

I was utterly exhausted by the heat of this country. I started sweating within five minutes after I got off a nicely air-conditioned tour bus. I felt terrible when sweat started running down my body. It was the kind of heat that sticks to your body. I was so impressed by the fact that the Khmers had built Angkor Wat, a huge construction, in the heat that lasts all year long. Moreover the work was intricate which required much labor.

I found “stickiness” in molding and I thought it could be created only in this climate. It is the essence of molding in southern Asia where the climate is always hot and humid. In Japan it is hot and humid only in summer and that is very different from the climate in Southeast Asia.

I felt that the sound of the word Angkor Wat had a cool feeling and it brought a precious feeling of beauty to this molding object. Angkor Wat was discovered in the jungle at the end of the 19th century and became the pride of the country. It also became a major source of foreign currency. The pride is symbolized on the national flag. This is the only country that has a flag with a design of a World Heritage site. During my trip to Cambodia I saw the national flag raised in many places. The name of the best tasting beer in Cambodia was Angkor.

(translated by Satoko Matsuoka)

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