Important Cultural PropertyAmitabha Tathāgata (Amida Nyorai) and two attendants

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  • 3 statues
  • Cast bronze, gold-plated
  • Statue H:(central statue) 28.4 (left attendant) 21.1 (right attendant) 21.3
  • Asuka period/7th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • N-144

As Kebutsu (Buddha in manifestation) representing Kannon (Avalokitesvaran) and Suibyo (a ewer) representing Seishi (Mahasthamaprapta) are seen on the coronet put on by the attendants on both the right and left, these are Japan's oldest relics of the Amida Trinity (Amida Sanzon) statues. The style of the seat of the Amida in the center, the crown that consisted of three upstanding ornaments (Sanmen-toushoku) worn by the attendants on both sides and the manner in which the necklace of precious stones is worn (Youraku) show the style of Buddhist statues during the period of the Chinese Northern Qi Dynasty (550 - 577) and Sui Dynasty (581 - 618) , but the overall taste of the statues is spontaneous and fresh, indicating the features of Hakuho sculptures. As for the inscription on the back of the pedestal "Yamada-den-no-zou" (the statues in the Yamada Hall), from the characters indicating "Yamada," it is believed that there may be a relation to Sogakura-no-yamada-no-ishikawa-no-maro, who played an important role in the Taika Reforms and Yamda-ji Temple he founded, but the details are not certain.
Each of the statues of Amida and the attendants was, including its own lotus pedestal underneath the feet, created in one cast without being hollowed out. However, the from of the crown worn by Kannon was made separately. There is a large lateral crack found on the hem of the skirt that was reinforced by metal inlay and is longer than it is wide in the middle of the crack at the front and the back. Although pores can be seen on every statue, the casting is good. The pearl pattern (Renju) seen on the plastron and the Youraku of both attendants were beaten out with an indented burin in a fish-roe pattern (Nanakotagane). As for the Kebutsu, a doubled dot line pattern was beaten out on the halo, the Kaeribana-za (the downward-facing lotus petal decoration of the pedestal), the Tenkandai (support for crown), the Kun (skirt), the Tenne (celestial garment) and the rim of the central section of the lotus flower pedestal using a special burin. Plating remains on the entire surfaces of the trinity except for the hair, as well as the part from the bottom of the hip to the back of the hanging skirt of Amida and the hair of the attendants. As for coloring, it is found that the hair and lips of all the statues were painted in ultramarine and vermilion (or Indian red), respectively. In addition, the entire surface from the underside of the hip to the back of the hanging skirt of Amida is painted in red (or Indian red). As for the pedestal, the three parts, i.e., the upper Kamachi (the upper stilee), the waist and the lower Kamachi (the lower stile)/the base, as well as the stem of the lotus for the attendants were cast separately and then assembled. Plating remains all over the exposed surface and the backside of the base is painted in red (or Indian red).

Inscription (Back of the pedestal)
"Yamada-den-no-zou" (the statues in the Yamada Hall)