Important Cultural PropertyBodhisattva sitting with his legs half-crossed

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  • 1 statue
  • Cast bronze, gold-plated
  • Statue H33.7
  • Asuka period/7th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • N-163

This image looks massive with its big head and thick body.
The image, including the pedestal, is created in one cast and hollowed out up to the head. Currently, an inner clay mold remains above the string of the round pedestal. The thickness of the copper is relatively thick and almost even across the board. The iron core (the cross section is square), which remains inside the image from the head to the middle of the round pedestal, curves along the posture of the image and becomes thicker as it goes down. There are katamochi (metal pieces inserted between the outer and inner molds) set in the chest, the abdomen, the area below the right knee, the lower left part of the left shin, the back and the back of the round pedestal. While small mold cavities can be found all over the image, with big ones below the round pedestal, the casting finish is good. Gold plating remains over almost the entire surface of the image except the reverse side of the head ornaments. For coloring, ultramarine remains on part of the hair and vermillion (or Bengala) can be found on a very small part of the lips. The inside of the area from the lower base to the down-turned lotus petals is painted in vermillion (or Bengala).
Images of Buddhist deities similar to this one include N-164, N-172 and the standing image of Kannon Bodhisattva of Horyuji Temple (an attendant of the Amitaba Tathagata trinity enshrined in the Kondo hall) and they all have a thick iron core inside. Among some repousse reliefs of Buddhist deities that had been handed down to Horyuji Temple, there are some Bodhisattva images whose facial features resemble those of this image (for example, N-198 and N-206). These Buddhist images including this one are considered to have been created by a group of sculptors working in and around Horyuji Temple.