Scale Reproduction of the Seated Figure of Dainichi Nyorai [Skt, Mahāvairocana] by Kaikei.
Sculptor: Miura Yasumichi, Patinated Coloring: Nakamura Tsuneyoshi
This scale reproduction was created in order to study the way in which wooden sculptures were planned in classic times. The work chosen as a model for this project is a seated figure of Dainichi Nyorai belonging to the University Art Museum of Tokyo University of the Arts that was made by Kaikei, the representative sculptor of the Keiha school.
When new students enter the Conservation Course’s Sculpture Laboratory, the first project they are given is to produce a scale reproduction like this. In order to finish the surface of a Buddhist statue, well-sharpened cutting tools and minute handwork are essential. New students start from the basics, gradually improving their skills and learning how to care for a variety of tools. They also learn basic skills like warihagi [splitting and joining the work], warikubi [jointed neck], uchiguri [hollowing out], gyokugan [crystal eyes], etc., as well as finishing techniques, such as patinating, etc. A full understanding of the basic techniques used to create a Buddhist statue is extremely important when actually carrying out restoration of cultural properties.