Important Cultural PropertyAvalokitesvara (Kannon Bosatsu)

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  • 1 statue
  • Cast bronze, gold-plated
  • Statue H36.8
  • Asuka period/7th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • N-172

The style of this image closely resembles that of Horyuji's standing image of Kannon Bodhisattva (the right attendant to the central image of Amitaba Tathagata), such as its wide face, head ornament rimmed with a pattern of curling bracken shoots, a yoraku (threaded bead or metal decoration) that hangs in an X shape, the first and third fingers of the left hand holding a sacred gem and the right hand holding a water jar. Moreover, this image also resembles N-163 and N-164, not only in its facial features, but also in sculpturing techniques since they all have a thick iron core inside.
The image, including the pedestal, is created in one cast and hollowed out up to the head. However, the inner mold clay remains up to the bottom of the kun (skirt). An iron core also remains (the cross section is square) from the head to the bottom of the kun. The overall thickness of the copper is relatively thin and almost even, except for the front of the head where it is thick. The area from the upturned petals in the left-leaning center of the pedestal on the back to the down-turned petals and the right part of the round frame of the pedestal have been tinkered with, which seems to have been done due to a casting failure on the surface (except for the area of the upturned petals on the back). Inside the pedestal, there are many round projections, which seem to be traces of a treatment to reinforce the surface tinkering by pouring molten copper deep into the inside through round holes that had been bored in the area that was tinkered with. There are many mold cavities below the neck. An inlay treatment is applied to the back of the right hand and the elbow of the left arm. Gold plating remains over almost the entire surface except the back of the head. For coloring, lapis lazuli remains on the hair and black sumi can be seen on the outline of the eyes and part of the eyeballs.