Ten Famous Buddhist Statues In Japan

November 19, 2017

Have you visited some of the amazing temples and shrines in Kyoto and Nara? If you have, we imagine that you have seen some of these Buddhist statues that represent different spiritual "deities" in the temples and shrines. This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Ninjaya.com, Inc. Many of these statues are designated as national treasures in Japan and we are introducing 10 replicas of these statues that are available at:  ninjaya.com

The Buddhist statues available on Ninjaya.com are 10 to 50 centimeters (4-20+ inches) in height and are meant to be placed in rooms for home décor purposes.


1. Den Nyoirin Kannon (伝如意輪観音)

The Den Nyoirin Kannon statue dates back to the Nara Heian period, 8-9th century. “Den” means that it is alleged or believed to be Nyoirin Kannon. Kannon is the Japanese name for the Indian Buddhist god Avalokiteshvara which is the bodhisattva of compassion. Under its feet are the “Four Heavely Kings” that are known as the watchers of the four ordinal directions. The original statue is in Hobodaiin Gantoku-ji temple in Kyoto. This is a replica of that statue. 



2. Bosatsu Hanka  (菩薩半跏像)

The Bosatsu Hanka statue dates back to the Asuka period, 7th century. The original statue depicts Bodhisattva sitting contemplatively in the half-lotus position, and represents him contemplating a way of saving people as he practices methods of enlightenment. His exquisitely beautiful smile is considered to be one of the three great smiles in the art world, along with the Great Sphinx of Giza and the Mona Lisa. This statue is a replica of the original.



3. Fudo Myo-o (Acala)  (不動明王)

Fudo Myo-o dates back to the Heian period (794 – 1185) and is one of the important deities of Japanese Buddhism. His scary appearance was meant to frighten people into accepting the salvation that came from Dainichi-Nyorai. Statues of this deity can be seen in many places in Japan. Fudo Myo-o means “The immovable wisdom king” and he is the guardian of Buddhism. This statue is a replica



4. Senju Kannon  (千手観音)

Senju Kannon literally means "Kannon of a thousand arms" and there are hundreds of forms of Kannon in Japan. The beginning of Kannon in Japan dates back to the 6th century. Kannon is a Bodhisattva which means to delays one's own eternal enlightenment to stay behind and help everyone who suffers in the world. This is a replica of the Japanese national treasure in Nara.



5. Dainichi-Nyorai (Mahavairocana)  (大日如来)

The statue of Dainichi-Nyorai is designated as Japan's national treasure and is considered to be the famous Buddhist sculptor Unkei's very first work. The original is thought of as one of the masterpieces from the Kamakura period, 1185-1333. This statue is a replica of the original statue in Enjō-ji Temple in Nara. 



6. Aizen Myo-o (Ragaraja)  (愛染明王)

Aizen Myo-o is depected with a blood-red body and flaming halo. The primary function of this diety is to transform worries into enlightenment. This statue is a replica of the original statue in Saidai-ji Temple in Nara, Japan. The original was created by the Buddhist sculptor Zenen in 1247. 



7. Amitabha Looking Back  (みかえり阿弥陀)

Amitabha Looking Back is from a temple in Kyoto and it is one of the important cultural assets of Japan. The original statue dates back to the Early Kamakura Period, around 12th century. The pose of Mikaeri Amida can be interpreted in many ways such as to show mercy to neighbors and to wait for the people behind. This statue is a replica of the original.  



8. Asyura  (阿修羅) 

The statue of Asyura was made under the order of Empress Kōmyō for her deceased mother in the 8th Century. This statue is a replica of Asyura statue and the original is a Japanese national treasure. 



9. Fujin  (風神)

Fujin is the Japanese god of the wind and one of the oldest Shinto gods. He is portrayed as a terrifying demon carrying a large bag of winds on his shoulders. The statue is said to had been restored during the Kamakura period, 1185-1333. This is a replica of the original statue which is designated as a Japanese national treasure. 



10.  Raijin  (雷神)

Raijin is a god of lightning, thunder and storms in the Shinto religion and in Japanology. The original is said to had been restored during the Kamakura period, 1185-1333. This statue is a replica of the original statue which is designated as a Japanese national treasure.


We hope that you found this guide to be interesting and that you have a better understanding about these Buddhist "deities" that have significant meaning in Japanese culture. If you'd like to find out more about these replica statues, please visit: ninjaya.com's webpage



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