|KEY WORD : art history / sculptures|
|Statue of a high priest. These portrait statues were often made by pupils as a sign of respect and reverence for their teacher. Sometimes they were used as icons for worship in the same way as a Buddha statue. Some portrait statues were made during the subject's lifetime, often immediately before death, and are relatively realistic. Others are posthumous, idealized images. Famous examples of kousouzou include the statue of the Tang priest Ganjin 鑑真 (687-763), showing the blind priest as a model of compassion and spiritual strength despite his sufferings. (Hollow dry lacquer, 763, Tousoudaiji 唐招堤寺, Nara). Another famous statue is that of Rouben 良弁 (689-773), the founder of Toudaiji 東大寺 Nara. This figure is idealized to look like a Buddhist deity (painted wood, approximately 1019).|
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