|KEY WORD : art history / sculptures|
| Also inzou 印相 also read insou, shuin 手印, and mitsuin 密印. Sk: mudra. A hand gesture that symbolized the special characteristics
of a Buddhist deity. Iconographically the term in (or mudra) generally
means the hand gesture of a Buddhist image, although the same term is also
used for the hand gesture of a worshipper. Sometimes, the iconographical
mudra and worshippers hand gestures are not identical. In also includes
the objects held *jimotsu 持物 by a Buddhist image, which symbolize the identity of the image. The
origins of the mudra in Buddhist iconography have been traced back to Gandharan
Art. An early example is the *shokuchi-in 触地印 (Sk: bhumisparsa-mudra) which symbolized the Buddha's victory over the
demons who tried to obstruct his final enlightenment. In the same way, the
prototype of the *tenbourin-in 転法輪印 (Sk: dharmacakra-mudra) is found in the image symbolizing the
Buddha's first sermon at Sarnath. Mudras developed gradually in India and
were finally fully systematized when incorporated into Esoteric Buddhism mikkyou 密教, from about the 5c onwards. The mudras used in Japanese
Buddhist iconography are basically the same as those used in Mahayana art
in other Asian Buddhist countries but have localized to some extent. As
regards the iconography of *Shaka 釈迦 (Sk: Sakyamuni), tradition shows him displaying the *semui-in 施無畏印 (Sk: abhaya-mudra) with his right hand and *yogan-in 与願印 (Sk: varada-mudra) with his left hand. On the other hand, the
so-called Vajrasana style, in which the seated image forms the shokuchi-in with the right hand and *zenjou-in 禅定印 (Sk; dhyana-mudra) with the left, is frequently found in images of Shaka in Asian countries, but in Japan it is rarely used in the iconography
of Shaka, and is found instead in images of *Ashuku 阿しゅく (Sk: Aksobhya).
Similarly, *Amida 阿弥陀 (Sk: Amitabha/Amitayus) in Japan, just as in many other Buddhist countries in Asia, forms the zenjou-in with both hands, but the left hand is slightly different from the right. Amida's mudra in Japan is called *mida-no-jouin 弥陀定印, and that used in other countries is commonly called *hokkai jouin 法界定印; the latter is found in Japan mainly in images of *Dainichi 大日 (Sk: Maha vairocana) related to the *Taizoukai mandara 胎蔵界曼荼羅 (Major mudras) in Japan and their related Buddhas are: Shaka ; semui-in (right hand), yogan-in (left hand), Amida ; mida-no-jouin, tenbourin-in, *Amida kubon-in 阿弥陀九品印, *raigou-in 来迎印, Dainichi ; *chiken-in 智拳印, hokkai jouin.
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