nibutsu heiza 二仏並坐
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
A statue or painting depicting the Buddhas *Shaka 釈迦 and Tahou 多宝 sitting side by side, these images illustrate an episode recounted in the Buddhist scripture HOKEKYOU KENHOUTOUBON 法華経見宝塔品. Shaka was preaching to a crowd of bodhisattvas *bosatsu 菩薩 and lay people when Tahou, the Buddha of the Past, appeared to witness to the truth of Shaka's teachings. Tahou caused a stupa to emerge from the ground and invited Shaka to sit beside him inside the stupa. Hasedera 長谷寺 in Nara houses some outstanding nibutsu heiza images, including the oldest known example in Japan called the Hokke seppou-zu 法華説法図, dating from the 7c.


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