Reproduction of the Standing Figure of Miroku Bosatsu [Skt. Maitreya] Belonging to Tōdaiji Chūsho-in Temple in Nara Prefecture.
Sculptor: Kojima Hisanori (2013)
The original statue is enshrined in Tōdaiji Chūsei-in Temple and from the objects discovered inside it, we know that it was sculpted between 1190 and 1199. The sharp, slanted eyes and the billowing robes mean that it is classified as being ‘Song dynasty style’, but there are various unusual aspects to this work, such as the spiral-shaped navel and the fact that a different timber was purposely used in the section where the legs are inserted in the body. When actually making the reproduction, it became clear that its unusual structure resulted from the fact that it was originally made standing straight but then the sculptor changed the structure to make it lean forward slightly, as if it were on the verge of walking away. It is thought that this invention originated to inspire the followers of Miroku faith who lived in the southern capital and were waiting for the appearance of a living Buddha. Furthermore, this work, that is the result of an exhaustive process of trial and error, was to have a discernible influence on the subsequent work of the Zenpa school of sculptors, so much so that it can be described as the prototype of the Zenpa school and there is a strong possibility that it marks the juncture where the Keiha and Zenpa schools separated.