Important Cultural PropertyTathāgata (Nyorai) Triad

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  • 1 piece
  • Limestone
  • H126.0
  • Tōgi period/6th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • TC-646

 This is a trinity made of limestone with one halo. While the images follow the style of the Northern Wei period, the drapery folds and ornaments of the trinity and the patterns on the halo, such as the celestial beings, dragons, trees, mountains and flames, look like an integrated and simplified version of the Northern Wei style. On the other hand, the angular face and the slightly round modeling of the upper arm and abdomen suggest the emergence of a new style. This trinity can be said, therefore, to reflect a cultural aspect in the Eastern Wei period where tradition and an enterprising spirit coexisted.
 The names of 75 people, who made the votive offering for the creation of this trinity, are engraved on the halo and each side of the base, showing that comprehensive cooperation between priests and laymen enabled the creation of this trinity.
 While the front section of the pedestal was originally a place where the wishes of donators are written, in this trinity, nothing is engraved except ruled lines. On the other hand, the names of some donators are squeezed into other spaces in a forced manner. From other remaining similar trinity examples, it can be assumed that this trinity was created before votive offerings were collected and after receiving offerings, as the inscription was engraved to complete the trinity. It could be that there were people who created Buddha images as a means of their livelihood who were able to meet various demands at the time.
 Repairs have been made on the noses of the three deity images and the tip section of the halo.