chakushu ちゃく手
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
Also takushu 磔手 and choushu 張手 (Sk: vitasti). A unit of measure that originated in India, used in the creation of Buddhist statues and temples. One chakushu was twelve shi 指 (Sk: angula), and two chakushu became one chuu 肘 (Sk: hasta). One chakushu was said to be the length between the tops of a thumb and a middle finger when a hand was fully open, which was generally calculated into eight sun 寸, or approximately 24.5cm. However, there were several other conversion rates. Chakushu was used for small Buddhist images (see *itchakushuhan 一ちゃく手半), and chuu is used in Esoteric Buddhism mikkyou 密教 to measure the height of Buddhist images and the length of their platforms *dan 壇.


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