Important Cultural PropertyAmitabha Tathāgata

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  • By Eisen
  • 1 statue
  • Wood, colored, partly coated with thin gold strips
  • H 97.0, halo H 130.0, pedestal H 54.5
  • Kamakura period/Shōka 3 (1259)
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • C-508

This is an Amitabha Tathagata image with the first and second fingers of both hands making a raigo-in sign. This sign symbolizes that Amitabha Tathagata came to welcome the dead into the Pure Land and this type of Amitabha Tathagata image was actively created during the Kamakura period. In particular, 3-shaku (about 90cm) images of this type created by Kaikei, which were called Annamyo, became popular and had a lasting impact on Buddhist images created in later years.
According to the inscription written in sumi inside the back of the head, this image was created in 1259 by Eisen, a sculptor of Buddhist images and constitutes a referential example of Buddhist images of the mid-thirteenth century. While there are no other remaining works by Eisen, his style, which is different from that of Kaikei, can be found in the facial features and clothing style.