ginbutsu 銀仏
KEY WORD : art history / scluptures
Silver Buddha. Bronze was the most frequent metal used in the production of Buddhist statues. Where silver was used instead of bronze, the figure is called ginbutsu. According to available documents, silver statues were produced in Japan in the Nara and Heian periods, but surviving examples are very rare. Because of the high price of silver, relatively few pieces were produced, and the statues themselves tend to be small in size. Famous extant examples include a figure (height 23.6cm ) attached to the coronet of *Fukuukenjaku Kannon 不空羂索観音 in Toudaiji *Hokkedou 東大寺法華堂, Nara, and thought to date from the 8c. An Amida Nyoraizou 阿弥陀如来像 (7.6cm high) in Jougon-in 浄厳院, Shiga preference, is believed to have been made in the Kamakura period. In 1937 the right hand of a Buddha cast in silver, approximately life-size, was discovered under a pedestal in Koufukuji 興福寺, Nara, where, according to records, there once were two silver Buddhas.

*chuukin 鋳金

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