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bussokuseki@•§‘«Î
CATEGORY:@art history / iconography
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Lit. Buddha's foot(print) stone; also written •§‘«Õ, lit. footprints of the Buddha. A stone allegedly bearing the impression of the footprints of the historical Buddha, Sakyamuni *Shaka Žß‰Þ. In early examples of Indian Buddhist art, Sakyamuni is not depicted in human form; instead his presence is intimated by symbols such as the lotus, a parasol, his throne or his footprints. The center of the soles of Sakyamuni's feet are said to have been marked by a thousand-spoked wheel, senpukurin ççt—Ö, representing one of the 32 distinguishing marks *sanjuunisou ŽO\“ñ‘Š, of a Buddha. In footprint stones it is usually shown surrounded by various auspicious signs such as a vase, fish or conch shell, and the toes are also variously marked. The veneration of the footprints of religious figures in India is not peculiar to Buddhism, being found also in Jainism and Hinduism. In Buddhism, the footprints of the Buddha initially appeared only in relieves depicting the Buddha's life, but later stones bearing impressions of the Buddha's footprints became objects of worship in their own right, and their cult is found in all Buddhist lands. The oldest extant bussokuseki in Japan is dated 753 and preserved at Yakushiji –òŽtŽ› in Nara, said to be a reproduction in stone of a tracing originating from China and which in turn reproduced a model that had been brought from India. Next to it stands a slab inscribed with a 21-verse "poem of the Buddha's footprint stone"Bussokuseki-no-uta •§‘«Î‚̉Ì. This footprint stone is one of the earliest examples of artistically worked stone surviving in Japan, while the poem-style represents one of the earliest records of the Japanese language. Footprint stones, often imitations of that at Yakushiji, either can be placed horizontally on the ground or erected vertically in the manner of a stele. These have been produced continuously in Japan until recent times and may be seen at temples throughout the country. Other early examples include the bussokuseki at Okadera ‰ªŽ› in Nara, Shitennouji Žl“V‰¤Ž› in Osaka, Hounenin –@‘R‰@ in Kyoto, Zoujouji ‘ãŽ› in Tokyo and Zenkouji ‘PŒõŽ› in Nagano prefecture.
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bussokuseki •§‘«ÎFZoujouji ‘ãŽ› (Tokyo)

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(C)2001 Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System.@No reproduction or republication without written permission.
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