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renben@˜@•Ù
CATEGORY:@1 architecture / loofing tiles ; 2 art history / sculptures
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Lit. lotus petal.

1@A pendant, *gatou Š¢“–, found on semi-circular convex eave-end tiles *nokimarugawara Œ¬ŠÛŠ¢, used on temples from around 600-1300. The patternd include: a combination of single petals *soben rengemon ‘f•Ù˜@‰Ø•¶; a single petal with leaf sprouts added *tanben rengemon ’P•Ù˜@‰Ø•¶; double petals *fukuben rengemon •¡•Ù˜@‰Ø•¶Gor a double layerd petal *juuben rengemon d•Ù˜@‰Ø•¶. Although the lotus motif can be found after 1300, it was being widely replaced by other motifs by the beginning of the 11c. The lotus petal motif is genirally associated with tomple roof tiles. However, some scholars think eave-end tiles with this motif began to be used for the roofs of palaces and other government buildings by the end of the 7c. This is corroborated by the tiles uneartherd at the site of the palace in the Fujiwara “¡Œ´ capital, in Nara. After the capital was moved to Heijou •½é, Nara, nearly 150 variations of the lotus petal motif developed. There are a number of accompanying motifs iincluding: seed pod *chuubou ’†–[, with a varying number of seeds; saw-tooth paterns *kyoshimon ‹˜Ž••¶; and bead patterns *shumon Žì•¶. These patterns have been discovered on the circular pendants attached to some nokimarugawara.

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Lotus petals which are used as decorative motifs in Buddhist imagery. They are used on *kouhai Œõ”w (mandalas or halos), but most often they appear in *rengeza ˜@‰ØÀ, the lotus pedestal upon which a Buddhist image may sit or stand. Although lotus petals are found in various places on rengeza, such as in the *kaeribana ”½‰Ô (douwnturned lotus petals) downturned lotus petals and the *keban ‰Ø”Õ (flower platter) both in the middle part of the base, the term renben usually refers to the individual petals in the upper register of the base.
Renben may be inserted into the *renniku ˜@“÷ (lotus center) or into the *fukijiku •˜Ž², a dish-shaped piece of wood with holes placed just below the renniku . The fukijiku was used in the Nara and early Heian periods, but after the mid Heian period, it was usually omitted and lotus petals were inserted directly into the renniku.
The two main methods of attaching lotus petals to the base are called sashiren ‘}˜@ and fukiren •˜˜@. The sashiren technique inserts petals into holes cut into the renniku or fukijiku using metal tenons called *ashihozo ‘«‚Ù‚¼. An example is found in the base of the 9c statue of Nyoirin Kannon ”@ˆÓ—֊ω¹ at Kanshinji ŠÏSŽ›, Osaka. The fukiren (also called uchiren ‘Ř@) technique used nails or drove the petals directly into the renniku. This technique was often used in the late Heian and Kamakura periods (12-13c). In the bases of the late Heian period, examples of *Amida ˆ¢–í‘É from Houkaiji –@ŠEŽ›, Joururiji ò—Ú—žŽ›, Houkongouin –@‹à„‰@, (all in Kyoto), the lotus petals were were attached to the renniku using nails or pegs. Visually, these lotus bases seem more open than the earlier bases, such as the pedestal of the Amida in the Byoudouin •½“™‰@ (1053). In the kiritsuke renben Ø•t˜@•Ù style, the lotus petals were carved directly into the surface of the renniku. This technique is used in the 9c image of the *Yakushi –òŽt from Shoujiji ŸŽŽ› in Kyoto.
There are two types of arrangements for the lotus petals of standard and complex rengeza. *Gyorinbuki ‹›—Ø•˜, in which rows of petals alternate like fish-scales, was widely used in the Nara period (8c) and later in the Kamakura period (13-4c). A well-known example is found in the 8c image of the Eleven-headed Kannon (Juuichimen Kannon \ˆê–ʊω¹) at Shourinji ¹—ÑŽ› in Nara. *Fukiyoseshiki ŠñŽ®, in which the petals are arranged in rows evenly on top of one another, was popular in the late Heian period (11-12c). The bases of the Amida at Houkaiji and the Byoudouin have such arrangements. At some point, the arrangement of the Byoudouin petals was changed to gyorinbuki, but during 1954-5 repairs were carried out and the original arrangement of fukiyoseshiki was restored. In the Kamakura period, the gyorinbuki arrangement again became popular. The image of Miroku –íèÓ by Unkei ‰^Œc from the Hokuendou –k‰~“° in Koufukuji ‹»•ŸŽ›, Nara (ca. 1212), is one well-known example.
There are several types of lotus petal. A plain lotus petal called *soben ‘f•Ù was often used in the Asuka period (mid 6c-mid 7c). The tanshiben ’PŽq•Ù (also simply tanben ’P•Ù) is a petal on which a leaf bud shiyou Žq—t is rendered and is often used for small gilt bronze images dating from the Nara period (mid 7c-8c). *Fukuben •¡•Ù is a petal with two leaf buds. Confusingly, the same term tanben is used to refer to a single lotus petal and double lotus petals where two petals are set together. The kurumigata renben ŒÓ“Œ`˜@•Ù is a petal in the shape of a walnut usually with two leaf buds carved into it. An example is found in the sculptures of the so-called Six Kannon *Roku Kannon ˜ZŠÏ‰¹ at Houryuuji –@—²Ž›, dating from the 8c. In the Kamakura period (12-3c) lotus petals had ridges and this is considered to be an influence from the Chinese Song style. The Yakushi Triad, Yakushi sanzon –òŽtŽO‘¸ from Kakuonji Šo‰€Ž› (14-5c) in Kanagawa prefecture is a well-known example.
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