Important Cultural PropertyBodhisattva statue

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  • 1 piece
  • Limestone
  • H257.5
  • Northern Qi period/Tianbao 3 (552)
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • TC-375

This is a standing image of Bodhisattva with a lotus-shaped halo and a gorgeous crown, whose right hand makes a Semui-in sign (a sign to make people feel secure) and the left hand Yogan-in sign (a sign to fulfill people's wishes). This image seems to have been completely carved in the round (maru-bori). The almost rectangular face shows a warm and serene facial expression despite its rigid facial formation comprised of long thin eyes, a sharp nose, a strong and firm philtrum and a small mouth. The long cloth that drapes across the shoulders is tied in front of the stomach and both ends of the cloth comfortably surround the body, go up again to the shoulders and then hang down on both sides of the image while making pleats. For the overall balance, the head, hands and feet are relatively big. Already growing out of the rigid archaic modeling of the principal image of Buddha at Hinyodo among the Longmen Grottoes at Luoyang in the Northern Wei period, this image displays dexterity at creating the benevolent facial expression of Bodhisattva through a plump face. On the four sides of the base a detailed inscription is engraved, which says that this image was enshrined at a temple located near Zhangzi county in the southern part of Shanxi province and that Giban, a General in the fight against the Mongolians and the Governor of Zhangzi, together with his family made the votive offering for the creation of the image, praying for the longevity of Emperor and Empress Bunsen and peaceful lives for the people, on July 15, 552. This image is considered as a valuable standard example with the year of creation. Seated Senbutsu Buddha images are engraved on the back and side halos.