Important Cultural PropertyTathāgata (Jp Nyorai)

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  • 1 statue
  • Cast bronze, gold-plated
  • Statue H29.7
  • Asuka period/7th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • N-153

This is a Nyorai (Tathagata) statue with a cute face whose head, hands and feet are large for its body. The drapery on the pedestal is created to show a soft texture. The patterns beaten out, including the Nanako-mon (a fish-roe pattern) on its head and Fukurenten-mon (the doubled dot line pattern) on the hemline of the robe and on the ridges of the Emon (drapery folds) using relevant indented burins, are very elaborate. Statues of boy attendants to Buddhist deities like this were developed while showing a wide variation in the latter half of the seventh century, thus holding an important place in the sculptures of this time.
This statue was created in one cast including its body and the pedestal and the inside up to near its breast is hollowed. The bronze thickness is rather thick and almost uniform on the whole. A square chaplet is set near the center of the back. A Nanakotagane (an indented burin for beating out a fish-roe pattern) is used for its hair and a special indented burin is used for beating out Fukurenten-mon (a doubled dot line pattern) on the skirt around its waist and the hem of the drapery on the pedestal. Plating remains on almost the entire surface except for its hair and coloring can be found on its hair and its lips, which are painted in ultramarine and vermilion (or Indian red), respectively. The index finger of the right hand has been lost near the root.