Shôtokuís choice of an isolated site helps explain how Hôryûji
has survived for so long. After his death, the center of political power
moved back to Asuka, and later north to Nara. This aerial photo, in which
the main compound of Hôryûji appears as a square courtyard
to the lower left, shows that it remains isolated even today, with long
stretches of rice paddy lying close by.