Important Cultural PropertyFudō Myouō (Acalanatha)

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  • 1 statue
  • Wood, colored
  • Statue: H166.1, halo: H236.4, pedestal: H40.6
  • Heian period/11th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • C-1525

Acala (Fudomyoo) is one of the most often created images among the deities of esoteric Buddhism that Kukai introduced into Japan. While the early Acala images have wide-open eyes and show their upper teeth, this image, one of many standing Acala images created in the late Heian period, features a thinned left eye and fangs over the upper and lower lips. The rolled hair is also a style established after the late Heian period. The facial expression and build display unpretentious humor. The facial features are small and organized in the center and its look of rage is also relatively mild. While there are not many drapery folds, their peaks have shinogi (a diagonal concavity made when a timber is cut diagonally on each side in order to form a peak). It displays a mixture of refinement and tradition, such as weighty modeling of the lower body and the structure comprising the iciboku-zukuri (where an image is created roughly out of one piece of lumber) and warihagi techniques (of dividing the body in half and carving out a hollow in each piece). There is an inscription written in sumi of 南□西来寺 on the halo, but nothing is known about this temple.