ittou sanrai 一刀三礼
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
Also ichiji sanrai 一字三礼, ittou sanpai 一刀三拝. Lit. to worship three times with every stroke. A practice employed by an artist carving a Buddhist image, who would pray to the Buddha three times after every stroke of a knife. Ichiji sanrai, means to worship three times with every letter, a practice carried out by an artist copying a Buddhist sutra, who would pray three times after every letter that he wrote. The idea of ittou sanrai is said to originate in the Kamakura period, and represented a deep Buddhist faith expressed in the piety of the artist in the making of the image. It is not known whether any Buddhist statues were actually made according to this process, but there are legends associated with many temples that indicate the practice was used.


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