Japanese Bishamon Ten Scuplture

Illustration

James Blake Wiener
by
published on 19 December 2017

Made of wood with polychrome, cut gold leaf, and crystal eyes, this is one of the most remarkable statues from ancient Japan. The ink inscription eclosed in the statue of Bishamon Ten (Vaisravana) reveals that it was dedicated on the seventh day of the third month of 1162 CE, and it was kept at the Jurinin Jibutsudo Hall of the now defunct Nakanogawa Temple in Nara, Japan. It is one of the most prominent works from the late Heian period in the 12th century CE. With inlaid crystal eyes, which were a new technique at the time, this statue boass a style that seems fresh even today. This is one of the earliest Buddhist statues to use inlaid crystal eyes for a realistic and stunning effect. (Tokyo National Museum)



About the Author

James Blake Wiener
James is a writer and former Professor of History. He holds an MA in World History with a particular interest in cross-cultural exchange and world history. He is a co-founder of Ancient History Encyclopedia and its Communications Director.

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