Restoration of the Standing Figure of Jizō Bosatsu [Skt. Kṣitigarbha] Belonging to Kōshōji Temple, Saitama Prefecture
南北朝時代 修復年 2005年
The restoration of this statue led to a curious turn of fate. The statue had been purchased from an antique shop by an individual who recognized its cultural value and brought to our laboratory to have it properly restored. When work on the restoration began, an old petition for repair, containing the name ‘Kōshōji Temple’, was discovered inside, allowing it to be traced to the Kumagaya City area. At that time, there had been numerous thefts of Buddhist statues from unattended temples and we were able to learn that one of these had been a statue of Jizō Bosatsu belonging to Kōshōji Temple. We immediately visited the temple and upon opening the portable shrine the statue had been taken from, we discovered a faint outline of the statue remained on the backboard. The statue was placed inside and it matched the outline exactly, proving that this was indeed the stolen property. The person who had unwittingly purchased the statue immediately returned it to its original owner and so the Jizō Bosatsu was able to come home at last.
Although the date of this statue is unknown, judging from its style, it would appear to have been made in around the Nanbokuchō period (1336–1392), while the petition for repair that was discovered inside was dated 1691. From this, we are able to tell that people had been carefully tended to throughout its long history.