Important Cultural Property
Color on wood, joined block construction
Heian period/12th century
Nara National Museum
This is the image of Vairocana, who is making the Chiken-in sign (a finger sign to enter the state of Buddha's wisdom) in front of its chest and sits in Kekkafuza with the right leg above the left leg. It is estimated that the main head-body part was originally created out of one piece of Japanese cypress lumber using Warihagi (a method to split the body into the front and back parts) and Warikubi (a method to separate/joint the head from the body) techniques. While extensive repairs have been made on the image, its slightly stooped side and mild massiveness well represent the style of the late Heian period. The repairs that have been made extend over a large area, covering the rear of the head including the back of the topknot, the facial part from the hairline to the chin, the board along the back of the body and both legs and arms. However, the overall appearance of the image reflects the gentle representation of the late Heian period. A new material is added to the bottom of the Mo (skirt). At the bottom in the back of the image is a note written with sumi, which says that repairs were made on the image by a sculptor called Hanbei and his assistant Tobei Tamura in September 1720. Although there are a few other names in the note (village representative XX and village head XX), they are illegible. The aforementioned repairs seem to have been done at a later time than this repair in 1720. The pedestal, except its lotus core, has been redone later.