hiten kouhai 飛天光背
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
Also hitenkou 飛天光. Lit. flying apsaras nimbus. A halo *kouhai 光背, on a Buddhist image, decorated with heavenly beings *hiten 飛天, singing and dancing in praise of Buddha. The halo surrounds the whole image, and has a pointed peak *funagata kouhai 舟形光背. The hiten kouhai came to Japan from N. Wei dynasty China and was used on statues from the Asuka period. The central Shaka Nyoraizou 釈迦如来像 (623) in Houryuuji *Kondou 法隆寺金堂 was an early example, but the hiten figures are unfortunately now lost. A famous example in openwork carving *sukashibori 透彫 is found on the Amida Nyoraizou 阿弥陀如来像 (1053) in Byoudouin *Hououdou 平等院鳳凰堂 (Kyoto).

*nijuu enkou 二重円光, *kyoshinkou 挙身光, *Jouchouyou 定朝様

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