The Phoenix Hall on the reverse of the 10 yen coin is rumoured not be from Byodo-in. The story is that the engraver at the mint was given an intaglio of an almost identical Phoenix Hall but it was not the one in Uji. The artist is reported to have used the Houou-in from Muryokou-in in Hiraizumi as the model for the coin.
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Perhaps the most insipid marketing character ever devised. Totally lacking in substantive value and relevance to any worthwhile aspect of society. A multi-billion dollar ploy to divest parents of their hard-earned income with nothing in return. When peoples' lives are so devoid of meaning, they become all too willing to fill it up with cute, mindless junk. A perfect symbol for today's Japanese teenage girl.
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Craig - not sure what scientific journals you're reading but ... NASA's Deep Space 1 used a slightly different design ion thruster and was launched 5 YEARS BEFORE Hayabusa. 3 out of 4 of Hayabusa's 'implemented' engines failed, and it was barely able to return to Earth. The ESA SMART 1, launched just a few weeks later, used a Hall Effect ion engine that worked flawlessly and accomplished far more science at a cost of only 170 million dollars. The Hayabusa had so many problems that it arrived at a different asteroid than was first planned, spent months less on target, crashed into the target asteroid instead of soft landing, collected only 100 microparticles, and then crashed on return to Earth. The particle container was compromised and the meager contents couldn't even be positively certified to be from the asteroid. The main mission objective - the Minerva lander - was a total loss and flew off into space. Your rationale is like saying that the Fukushima meltdown will help us to better clean up the next nuclear disaster.
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