Friday, August 19, 2011

The Rise and Fall of...The Great Thunder Gate

On my trip to Japan in 2010, I came across a new fad (at the time). The nanoblock. These were all the rage in Japan, and I have to admit that I was quite attracted to the idea. I mean, what guy doesn't like Lego. And this is Lego, but NANO-scale. Ok... perhaps not quite nano-scale. But small. This one is of the Kaminarimon, or Thunder Gate that sits out the front of Senso-ji in Asakusa, in Tokyo.

It was a great opportunity to have some fun with L-kun, who also loves Lego. Hmmm - it's not hard to see from this photo who's the supervisor, and who's the worker.

Like any good engineering project, it all depends on getting the foundations right.... I somehow thought I could imagine how the ancient Pharohs felt when they first embarked on the construction of their great pyramids... 

Slowly, but surely - bit by bit... the structure grew. 

And just like Max, who had a forest grow in his room, and the walls and ceiling became the world all around, so my Shogi board found a new magical life, to transport me away...

After a few more nights of sneaking a few minutes to add more to my great gate... I was starting to get closer to completion. Only then did thoughts start to rise through my sub-conscious, what happens when I've finished? Will I find happiness and meaning? Will the gods be pleased?

Ok - the flash may have been a bit strong, but the roof was finished. This was the critical part... from which the enitre world would hang.

Da-dah! Completed... my Thunder Gate could start'a'thunderin'. I felt satisfied indeed, for it was good... and the gods were smiling down upon the works of man.... but such is the hubris of man, that he often doesn't realise when he should have quit when he is ahead. 

Indeed - little did I know that fate had another plan for my great Thunder Gate. It was smitten by the thundering hand of my lovely L-kun. It could have been an accident - or some form of righteous retribution - but what I do know was that one night, about a week after I finished it there was an almighty crash. Ok - nanoblocks aren't prone to cataclysmic sounds... but you get the idea... When I came running into the lounge, I let out a "NOOOOOOOooooooo!"... which ended drowned in a pitiful sobbing...

There lay my monument... in ruins. And there it has remained. A crushed spirit. A hollow dream. But one day, it will be re-built.


  1. I've heard about these and they look great fun. They would make a cool souvenir from Japan as I believe you can get quite a few famous landmarks.

    Japan Australia

  2. Well, now the two of you get to put it back together as a team. I love the way he's giving you instructions! We can see who's the boss!

  3. Well, I don't think there was any real uncertainty as to who was the boss. But then again, I know who we both take our orders from!

  4. I love this! I got into Nanoblock last year and now I really want to by this one or maybe Kinkakuji. :)

  5. Yeah - I wish they sold more Japanese inspired ones... I could imagine a Daibutsu mega-version. that would be fun to do!