Wooden figure of the Buddha Amida

From Japan
Kamakura period, 13th century AD

The Buddha Amida (Sanskrit: Amitabha) was the principal deity in temples of the True Pure Land or Jōdo Shinshū sect. It often formed the central element of a triad, flanked by two bodhisattvas. Here, Amida holds his hands in a gesture that welcomes the souls of the dead faithful to the Pure Land (Sukhavati).

As with many statues of this period, the figure is made using the yosegi zukuri technique, with a number of pieces of wood hollowed out and fixed together. The realistic eyes are made of crystal and inserted from the inside of the head before the statue was finished.

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More information


L. Smith, V. Harris and T. Clark, Japanese art: masterpieces in (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)

W. Zwalf (ed.), Buddhism: art and faith (London, The British Museum Press, 1985)


Height: 96.000 cm

Museum number

Asia JS 1945.4-19.1


Gift of the Art Fund


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