Important Cultural PropertyTathāgata (Jp Nyorai)

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  • 1 statue
  • Cast bronze, gold-plated
  • Statue H30.5
  • Asuka period/7th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • N-152

The dressing style of this statue, in which sash-like cloth peeks out between its left breast and its right shoulder, the end of robe drapes down from its right shoulder to its elbow and two straps are put on the Daie (a formal robe) at the back, is not common in other Buddhist images. It is also rare in Japan that its right arm is dropped down with a sacred gem on its palm, but similar ones are seen in some of the Nyorai images (Tathagata) at the end of the old Silla Kingdom era (57 B.C.–668 A.D.) (generally called Yakushi; the Buddha of Medicine & Healing).
This casting of this statue failed once and thus upper part from its breast was recast. The pedestal was cast together with the body's lower part below its breast. The recast section from its breast to its head is solid, while the part below that is hollowed. The hollow is closed at the underside of the skirt and a copper core remains inside of that, which indicates the so-called Kurumi-nakago. A square chaplet is set near the center of the back on the Daie (to the right of the strap). Pores can be seen all over the surface and larger ones are especially concentrated on its head, both shoulders and the Kamachi (a projecting platform) of the pedestal. Circular metal inlay is found on the top of the Kamachi in the center of the backside of the pedestal. Plating remains on almost the entire surface except for its hair. As for coloring, ultramarine and vermilion (or Indian red) can be found on its hair and lips, respectively. The tip of the thumb of its right hand has been lost.