sanjuunisou 三十二相
KEY WORD :  art history / sculptures
The thirty-two physical characteristics that symbolize the superhuman qualities of the Buddha. These originated in Indian mythology, and were first attributed to the Holy King Tenrin, Tenrinjouou 天輪聖王. They were adopted by Buddhists as the ideal representation of the historical Buddha *Shaka 釈迦. Many of the sanjunisou can be shown captured in paintings and sculpture although some, such as qualities of the voice or taste, cannot be portrayed. All images of Buddha *nyorai 如来 and bodhisattvas *bosatsu 菩薩 show the visible sanjunisou; the only difference being that Buddhas wear priests' dress, and bodhisattvas wear secular robes and hair styles. The 32 characteristics are listed in a number of Buddhist scriptures, but there are considerable differences between the texts. The most frequently quoted source is the DAICHIDORON 大智度論, where the sanjuunisou are given as: (1) sokuge anbyouryuusou 足下安平立相, when the Buddha walks. His feet are so close to the ground that there is not even a hair's space between his soles and the earth; (2) sokuge nirinsou 足下二輪相, the imprint of a wheel appears on the soles of the Buddha's feet; (3) choushisou 長指相, the Buddha's fingers are exceptionally long and slender; (4) sokugen koubyousou 足跟広平相, the Buddha's heels are broad, round and smooth; (5) shusokushi manmousou 手足指縵網相, the Buddha has a web-like membrane between his fingers and toes (see *monmousou 縵網相); (6) shusoku nyuunansou 手足柔軟相, the skin of the hands and feet is soft and smooth; (7) sokufu koumansou 足趺高満相, the feet have unusually high insteps; (8) ideien sensou (inienhakus) 伊泥延せん相, the Buddha's calves are rounded and firm like those of a stag (ideien is a type of deer); (9) shouryuu shumashitsusou (shouritsu shumashitsusou) 正立手摩膝相, exceptionally long arms,when standing, the Buddha's hands reach his knees; (10) onzousou 陰蔵相, the genitals are hidden inside the body; (11) shinkou joutousou 身広長等相, the Buddha's body height is equal to his armspread, considered to give a classically proportioned body; (12) moujoukousou 毛上向相, the Buddha's body hair grows in an upward direction; (13) ichi-ichiku ichimousou 一一孔一毛相, one hair grows from each pore on the skin; (14) konjikisou 金色相, the Buddha's body gleams with a golden light; (15) joukousou 丈光相, the Buddha emits a halo of light which frames his body and extends outward about three metres; (16) saihakuhisou 細薄皮相, the skin is extremely smooth; (17) shichisho ryuumansou 七處隆満相, seven regions of the Buddha's two feet, shoulders, and neck are full and rounded; (18) ryouyakuge ryuumansou (ryouekige ryuumansou) 両腋下隆満相, the sides of the body under the arms are full, not hollow as on an ordinary person; (19) joushin nyoshishisou 上身如師子相, the upper part of the Buddha's body is majestic, like a lion; (20) daijikishinsou 大直身相, the Buddha's posture is firm and perfectly erect; (21) ken-enmansou 肩円満相, the shoulders are full and rounded; (22) shijuushisou 四十歯相, the Buddha has forty teeth, as white as snow; (23) shisaisou (shiseisou) 歯斉相, the teeth are straight, without gaps, and equal in size; (24) gebyakusou 牙白相, the Buddha also has 4 canine teeth which are larger, whiter, and sharper than the rest; (25) shishikyousou 獅子頬相, the cheeks are full and firm like those of a lion; (26) michuutoku joumisou 味中得上味相, the Buddha's saliva imparts a delicious taste to everything he eats; (27) daizetsusou 大舌相, the tongue is long and flexible, when extended it reaches to the hairline; (28) bonjousou 梵声相, the Buddha's voice is pure, strong and deep, has an exceptional ability to communicate to the listener, and can be heard from a long distance; (29) shinshougensou (shinjougensou) 真青眼相, the pupils of the eyes are a deep blue colour, like the blue lotus flower; (30) gyuugenshousou (gogenshousou) 牛眼睫相, the eyelashes are long and regular; (31) choukeisou 頂髻相 (nikkeisou 肉髻相, see *nikkei 肉髻), the Buddha has a protuberance on the top of his head, representing wisdom; (32) byakumousou 白毛相 (see *byakugou 白毫), the Buddha has a light emitting clockwise curl of hair on his forehead.

*hachijisshugou 八十種好

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