Organization control number
Cultural property designation
Heian period, 9th century
Wood, single block construction
Nara National Museum
This statue had been enshrined as a manifestation of the prime noumenon in Nyakuō-ji shrine in Higashiyama, Kyoto, until the government announced the separation of Shintoism and Buddhism in the first year of the Meiji period (1868). The whole body with the exception of the arms and the lotus seat were carved from a single piece of kaya (Japanese nutmeg) wood. The inside of the statue is not carved out. The body and the clothes are colored in yellowish white—the special coloring to emphasize the meaning of sandalwood statue. The shape of the head which stands out in the center, thick eye-lids which cast a shadow over the face, the ups and downs of the body lines, and sharply carved drapes of the costume reflect the typical one-piece carving style of the early Heian period.