soshi 祖師
CATEGORY: art history / iconography
 
Important Buddhist teachers, high priests, and founders of Buddhist sects; often worshipped by followers. Statues and paintings of soshi soshizou 祖師像 were enshrined in special halls called *kaisandou 開山堂 soshidou 祖師堂, or mieidou 御影堂. Many were realistic depictions showing individual characteristics, while others were idealized images. Popular subjects included the six priests of the Hossou 法相 sect *Hossou Rokuso 法相六祖, the five patriarchs of the Joudo 浄土 sect, eight patriarchs of the Shingon 真言 sect *Shingon Hasso 真言八祖, and Zen 禅 figures like Bodhidharma *Daruma 達磨. Good examples of soshizou include images of Shoutoku Taishi 聖徳太子 such as two 11c statues in Houryuuji 法隆寺; the portrait of Keika 恵果, a patriarch of the Shingon sect, in Kyoto's Jingoji 神護寺; and the standing figure of Nichiren 日蓮 (late 13-14c) in Joukouin 浄光院, Ishikawa prefecture.
 
 

 
REFERENCES:
*chinsou 頂相, *miei 御影 
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