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Article

Donald F. McCallum

Japanese sculptor. He is associated with the inception of Buddhist image production in Japan and is generally considered to be the first great master of Japanese Buddhist sculpture (see also Japan, §V, 3, (i)). Tori Busshi is believed to have worked on the most important monumental sculpture of the Asuka period (...

Article

En  

Samuel C. Morse

School of Japanese sculpture that flourished during the 12th century. It was founded by and named after Ensei (d 1134) and was one of the two major schools of Japanese Buddhist sculpture of the later Heian period (794–1185), the other being the ...

Article

Enkai  

Japanese, 11th century, male.

Active during the first half of the 11th century.

Sculptor.

Enkai was a Buddhist monk from Mount Shigi near Nara. He was one of the first ­sculptors to use the yosegi (joined-wood) style of carving, whereby monumental sculp­- tures were made from several different blocks of wood that had been carved separately and then put together. Until that time, these large wooden figures had been carved using the ichiboku technique, meaning out of a single block of wood. Enkai’s famous seated statue of ...

Article

Enku  

Japanese, 17th century, male.

Born c. 1628, in Gifu Prefecture; died 1695, in Miroku-ji temple, Gifu Prefecture.

Monk-sculptor.

Little is known about the birthplace and life of Enku, a Tendai Buddhist monk, except that he travelled the country widely, sculpting on popular demand, and that his works are in fact a form of devotion. The immense amount of work he produced (he vowed to produce 120,000 pieces) stands apart from traditional Buddhist sculpture of the time. His prolific output was fired by a deep faith; he worked with great speed using a billhook and knife, taking into account the veins in the wood in order to respect its true nature. His works exude an undeniable serenity. They are to be found in numerous temples, most particularly in the regions of Mino and Hida (Gifu province) where he often stayed, but also on the northern island of Hokkaido, where he was to be found between ...

Article

Enkū  

Donald F. McCallum

Japanese sculptor and Buddhist itinerant monk (hijiri). He was active during the early Edo period (1600–1868). He entered the priesthood of the Tendai sect (see Buddhism, §III, 10) at an early age, this being one of the few means of advancement within feudal society for individuals of the lower classes. Enkū began sculpting images in the early 1660s for both Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines in his home province. In the later 1660s he made an important missionary expedition to the Tōhoku region of Honshu and to the northern island of Hokkaido, which had only recently come under the control of the Tokugawa shogunate, introducing Buddhism and Buddhist imagery to that still remote island. Thereafter he travelled extensively, carving icons for rural temples and wayside shrines in Honshu, especially in the Kantō and Chūbu regions. He also carved images on living trees on mountain-tops. For more than 300 years his works were little known outside their localities; to local people they were objects of worship, imbued with magical powers to heal and protect....

Article

Genkei  

Japanese, 17th – 18th century, male.

Born 1648, in Kyoto; died 1710.

Sculptor, monk.

After having been a sculptor of Buddhist statues in Kyoto, Genkei became a monk in 1669, at the age of 21, and a disciple of Tetsugen Zenji. He then went on a long preaching tour of Japan during which he conceived the vast project of carving statues of the Rakan (the Arhats, or disciples of the Buddha). He went to Edo (now Tokyo) to seek the assistance of Tetsugyu Osho, a priest of the Gufuku-ji at Ushima, through whose good offices he was permitted to stay at the monastery attached to the Senso-ji (Asakusa-dera) at Edo. There, at the beginning of the Genroku period (...

Article

In  

Samuel C. Morse

Major school of Japanese Buddhist sculpture of the late Heian (ad 794–1185) and early Kamakura (1185–1333) periods (see Japan, §V, 3, (iii)). The school took its name from Injō (d 1108), who was the chief disciple of ...

Article

Injo  

Japanese, 11th century, male.

Died 1108.

Sculptor.

Injo, a Buddhist sculptor, is said to be the son of Kakujo or Chosei and the grandson of Jocho, a great sculptor who died in 1057. He was therefore part of an important line of artists who formed one of the two main currents of Buddhist art at the beginning of the Heian period. He is considered the founder of the Shichijo Omiya studio in Kyoto, where he continued to work, with his numerous assistants, in the style of Jocho. It was probably for this reason that he received the honorary title of ...

Article

Injo  

Japanese, 13th century, male.

Active at the end of the 13th century.

Sculptor.

Injo was a Buddhist sculptor who received the title of Hoin (an ecclesiastical title conferred on sculptors). In 1295, he executed the Jizo Bosatsu (Sanskrit: Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha) of the Umegahata cemetery in Kyoto....

Article

Inkaku  

Japanese, 12th century, male.

Active during the first half of the 12th century.

Sculptor.

Inkaku, a Buddhist artist in the line of Jocho who died in 1057, worked in the Shichijo Omiya studio, founded in Kyoto by Injo, who died in 1108. He is said to be the sculptor of the statue of the Amida Buddha (Sanskrit: Amithaba Buddha) in the Hokongo-in monastery in Kyoto, dated ...