Important Cultural PropertySeated Dainichi (Skt. Mahāvairocana)

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  • 木造大日如来坐像
  • 1 statue
  • Wood with pigments Joined block construction
  • H 95.2
  • Heian period/12th century
  • Nara National Museum
  • 1184(彫111)

  This is the image of Dainichi (Skt. Mahāvairocana), who is making the mudra Chiken’in in front of its chest and sits in the lotus position (kekka fuza) with the right leg above the left leg. It is estimated that the main head-body part was originally created out of one piece (ichiboku dukuri) of Japanese cypress lumber, split the body into the front and back parts and jointed the head from the body (wari kubi). While extensive repairs have been made on the image, its slightly stooped side and mild massiveness well represent the style of the late Heian period (794–1185). The repairs that have been made extend over a large area, covering the rear of the head including the back of the topknot (motodori), the facial part from the hairline to the chin, the board along the back of the body and both legs and arms. However, the overall appearance of the image reflects the gentle representation of the late Heian period. A new material is added to the bottom of the wrap around skirt (mo). At the bottom in the back of the inside of the statue is a note written with ink, which says that repairs were made on the image by the master Buddhist sculptor Hanbei (半米) and his “assistant (てつだい)” Tamura Tobe in September, Kyoho 5 (1720). Although there are a few other names in the note (a certain head of a local self-governing body (惣中某) and a chief official of the rural village (庄屋某)), they are illegible. The aforementioned repairs seem to have been done at a later time than this repair in Kyoho 5 (1720). The pedestal, except its lotus core, has been redone later.