Important Cultural PropertyTathāgata (Jp Nyorai)

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  • 1 statue
  • Cast bronze, gold-plated
  • Statue H27.5
  • Asuka period/7-8th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • N-154

This statue has a unique face with a broad but short nose and thick lips and its style shows a simple taste on the whole. There is an opinion that it was created in and after the ninth century in the Heian periond (794 - 1192), however, the style of the drapery (Emon) shown on the Daie (a formal robe) that is worn with the right shoulder exposed and its plump face with a benevolent smile are generally common to the Hakuho sculptures, such as the standing Nyorai statue of Shinnoin and thus there seems to be no need to change the time of its creation.
As the casting of this statue failed once, the upper part from its shoulders were recast by adopting a method of jointing several sections for casting metal statues called Ikarakuri around its shoulders. Only the pedestal is hollowed while the body is solid, however, the section from the middle of the left forearm to the fingers including part of the Daie was cast separately. As for pores, larger ones are concentrated on the recast section. Metal inlay is found on the section between the edge of the Renniku (the central section of a lotus flower pedestal) in the center of the front pedestal and the upward-facing lotus flower (Gyoren). As it was caught in a fire, the surface is burned and thus plating remains only on part of its hair and the lower part of its lips. The coloring is also uncertain except for the vermilion (or Indian red) painted all over the inner surface of the pedestal.