Workshop of the Department of Research Programming

 The Department of Research Programming holds workshops every month to give interim reports on or to present a part of the results of its research projects. On Wednesday, December 26 (from 3 pm) Tsuda Tetsuei made a presentation entitled “On the Local Production of Buddhist Statues in the 12th Century” which is a part of the research project “Cross-Disciplinary Study of Art Materials and Techniques.”
 Until now the fact that there are not many differences in expression or techniques between Jocho-style Buddhist statues, the standard sitting style of Amitabha Tathagata, made in the cities and in local areas was attributed to skills of the Buddhist sculptors who made these statues. Instead, Tsuda attributed the lack of difference to the way in which theses statues were produced. He noted the existence of local officials who had bases of their activities in both cities and local areas and who moved between the two. By so doing, and by giving directions as to how statues were to be made, they acted as key persons in the production of Buddhist statues and raised the cultural level of the local areas to that of the cities. Based on such hypothesis, Tsuda examined the statue of Amitabha Tathagata at Jogon’in temple in Shiga prefecture whose original canopy, nimbus and pedestal remain and other similar statues in nearby temples. The presentation was followed by active exchange of opinion among the participants, including indication of places where further study seems appropriate.

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