Seated Figure of Dainichi Nyorai [Skt, Mahāvairocana] by Kaikei, Belonging to Tokyo University of the Arts and Dating From the Late 12th to early 13th Centuries


This statue was created by the Kamakura period sculptor, Kaikei. Judging from the style, it would appear to date prior to 1203 when he was still without rank. The expression of volume in the body, the fine lines of the hair, and the delicate expression of the robes are quite distinctive while the figure also demonstrates all the other techniques typical of Kamakura period statues, such as the hollowed-out body, jointed neck, crystal eyes, gold leaf on lacquer, finish, etc. Details of its provenance are unknown but it was purchased in 1899 by the old Tokyo Fine Arts School as antique art teaching material and now belongs to the University Art Museum of the Tokyo University of the Arts. Looked at from the viewpoint of Buddhist sculpture history, it is an extremely important work and it continues to have a lot to teach the students of the university. 


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