maedachi 前立
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
Also omaedachi 御前立. Lit. standing in front. A Buddhist sculpture, positioned on the altar in front of the shrine *zushi 厨子 containing a secret image *hibutsu 秘仏, most often in esoteric temples. As the secret image is rarely (sometimes never) shown, this sculpture usually of the same iconography is enshrined in front of the closed doors of the shrine or tabernacle so that worshippers may view an alternative manifestation of the secret image. Maedachi are usually made much later than the secret image, and are often smaller. A well-known example is the image of *Nyoirin Kannon 如意輪観音 from Kanshinji 観心寺, Osaka. The secret image is a National Treasure made in the 9c and its copy, once used as a maedachi, is an Important Cultural Property, made in the 12c. Maedachi may also take a different appearance from the corresponding hidden image.


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