Showing posts with label Japanese Art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Japanese Art. Show all posts

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Asura at Kōfuku-ji temple

We just learned about the Kongōrikishi.

Another famous ancient Japanese sculpture is the sculpture of Asura at Kōfuku-ji temple, made around 700 AD in Nara Japan.

Buddhists believe that the Asura is a powerful creature that helps protect the temples.

This sculpture was made using a type of art called kanshitsu, which means dry lacquer.
For this type of art, sculptors first make a model out of clay.
Then they take some cloth that they soak in a special type of oil and sawdust.
After that they wrap the statue in these cloths until it dries.
Last they break the clay out from underneath so it is a hollow statue.

(from: wikipedia - Kōfuku-ji)

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Saturday, October 20, 2018


We just learned about the Tamamushi Shrine.

Another type of Japanese sculptures is the Kongōrikishi (金剛力士), also called Niō (仁王).

These are two big mean looking sculptures with big muscles and weapons that were made as guardians for Buddhist temples.

One guard is making the "ah" sound and the other is making an "uhm" sound.
The ah is supposed to be like the first sound you make when you are born, and the uhm is the last sound you make before you die.
So the statues represent all life from birth to death.

(from: wikipedia - nio)

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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Tamamushi Shrine

We just learned about the Shaka Triad of Hōryūji by Tori Busshi.

Another ancient Japanese sculpture is the Tamamushi Shrine, made around 600 AD.

This is a 7 foot tall wooden sculpture of a buddhist temple, with statues all over the outside, as well as paintings telling ancient stories.

Inside the temple doors are tiny wooden carvings of buddha.

The outside of the temple used to be very colorful, because the artist used shiny colorful wings from tamamushi beetles to decorate it.

(from: wikipedia - tamamushi shrine)

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Saturday, October 6, 2018

Shaka Triad of Hōryūji - Tori Busshi

We just learned about the Haniwa.

Another ancient Japanese masterpiece is the sculpture of Shaka Triad of Hōryūji made in 623 AD by artist Tori Busshi.

Busshi was a famous artist in Japan who started out as a saddle maker.
Working with saddles helped hi learn how to work with wood carving and metal casting, and he learned to be a sculptor.

The Shaka was a sculpture that Busshi made after the death of some rich and powerful people.
Some people believed that this sculpture could help these people in the afterlife where they went after they died.

(from: wikipedia - tori busshi)

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Saturday, September 29, 2018


We just learned about the Shakōki-dogū.

Another type of ancient Japanese sculpture is the Haniwa.

These are small figures made out of clay, that were made for special times like funerals.

Some people believed that the soul of the person who had died would go into the haniwa if they put the sculpture on top of the place where they were buried.

Sometimes the sculptures were warriors with swords or other weapons, and sometimes they were bowls, or animals like horses, chickens or fish.
These were all meant to become part of the afterlife of the person who died.

(from: wikipedia - haniwa)

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Saturday, September 22, 2018


We just learned about the Eight Nested Relic Boxes.

Let's learn about some ancient Japanese sculpture.

One type of sculpture is the Shakōki-dogū
The word dogū means "earthen figure" and "Shakōki" means "goggle-eyed", for the large eyes of the sculpture.

The dogū are small clay sculpture like a person or animal, made thousands of years ago.
Other different types of dogū were made, like heart shapes, horned owls or women.

There were many of these sculptures, and people have found about 15,000 of them in Japan.
Some people think they were made as magical objects that people thought could cure diseases or bad luck.

(from: wikipedia - dogū)

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