|KEY WORD : art history / sculptures|
|Also tsuichoubutsu 鎚ちょう仏. A repose relief depicting Buddhist deities (and the technique involved). Usually small, and made of bronze with gilt or gold leaf. Produced by hammering from the front a thin bronze sheet laid against a metal matrix (itself in positive relief). Characteristically, the modeling material of the reliefs is softer than the original plate. Sometimes different matrices were used in combination to create one relief, for example, one plate for flanking attendant deities and another for the center figure, or a separate matrix for the decorative canopy over the deity. Many extant oshidashibutsu made in Japan during the 7-8c were influenced by Chinese examples of the Sui and Tang dynasties. The simplicity of the technique and its economical use of metals that were in short supply were well suited to the early production of quantities of religious icons, mainly depicting the compassionate Buddha *Amida 阿弥陀. The oldest extant examples are the Myriad Buddhas *sentaibutsu 千体仏, in three bronze plates forming the interior walls of the Tamamushi miniature shrine *Tamamushi no zushi 玉虫厨子 (mid-7c), now preserved at Houryuuji 法隆寺, Nara. Other representative works at Houryuuji, such as Amida with Two Attendants Amida sanzonzou 阿弥陀三尊像 and Amida with Four Attendants Amida gosonzou 阿弥陀五尊像 are well-known.|
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