Reproduction of the Standing Statue of Tennō [Skt. Deva] Belonging to the Tokyo National Museum. 

Sculptor: Suzuki Atsushi (2012)

It has been estimated that this statue was created during the mid-Heian period [late 10th to 11th century]. The entire work, including the rock base, has been carved from a single block of katsura [Cercidiphyllum japonicum] timber using the ichiboku-zukuri technique. It being impossible to acquire a piece of katsura timber of these proportions using ordinary channels, so in order to create this reproduction we applied to Tokyo University who arranged for us to receive it from a research forest in Hokkaido. When creating this reproduction, immediately after the wood was sawn, cracks began to develop but this was overcome using the seguri technique [the statue hollowed out from the rear then a separate backboard applied] and the result was approximately the same as the original. From this we can tell that the original sculptor also used timber with a core that was not properly dried and hollowed out the rear in order to prevent cracks from appearing in the front. Wood is a living material and this work provided a good opportunity to learn how the sculptor should approach it.