Important Cultural PropertyAvalokitesvara (Kannon Bosatsu)

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  • 1 statue
  • Cast bronze, gold-plated
  • Statue H31.4
  • Asuka period/7th century
  • Tokyo National Museum
  • N-178

With a thin trunk and a slightly turned body, this image stands in an unconstrained manner. The soft texture of the kun (a skirt) and the flowing tenne (a long cloth) displays a fresh sculpturing approach. Such rendering, including the earrings in both ears, seems to reflect a strong influence of the sculpturing style of the Sui period to the early Tang period. It is also worth noting that, as with N-181, the shape of the down-turned lotus petals of the pedestal has some features common to that of attendant images of the Yakushi trinity enshrined at the Kondo of Yakushiji Temple.
The image, including the pedestal, is created in almost one cast, except for part of a ribbon hanging down from the crown to the outside of the right elbow, which was cast separately and inlaid into the ribbon. The image is hollowed out up to the lower part of the neck. The thickness of the copper is relatively thin and even as a whole. Square katamochi (a metal piece inserted between outer and inner molds) are installed halfway between the legs on the front and at the corresponding lower part of the hips on the back. As a whole, there are relatively many mold cavities. The lower part of the turnup of the kun on the front and the area from the middle of the upturned lotus petals on the right side of the front pedestal to the down-turned lotus petals have been tinkered with. Moreover, inlay treatments have been applied to many areas, including both sides of the left knee and the lower left hem of the kun. Thus, the overall casting finish is not particularly good. Gold plating remains over almost the entire surface except the reverse side of the head ornaments and part of the hair. For coloring, there lapis lazuli remains on the hair and vermillion (or Bengala) can be found on the reverse side of the head ornaments and the lips.