|KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
|A pedestal or dais upon which a Buddhist image is placed. The type of pedestal is related to the type of image it supports as well as the period in which it was made. The *rengeza 蓮華座 or lotus pedestal is one of the most common forms of base for Buddha *Shaka 釈迦 and bodhisattva *bosatsu 菩薩 images. In its simplified form it consists of a *kaeribana 反花 (a ring of lotus petals facing downward). In its complex form it has many levels and various components. The base of the Amida Nyoraizou 阿弥陀如来像 in Byoudouin *Hououdou 平等院鳳凰堂 (1053), is an example of a complex lotus pedestal. There are two styles of arrangement of the lotus petals *renben 蓮弁 in standard complex lotus pedestals. In the Nara and Kamakura periods the *gyorinbuki 魚鱗葺 (a style where the rows of petals alternate in a fish-scale pattern), was widely used for rengeza, while in the intervening Heian period, the *fukiyoseshiki 吹寄式 (a style wherein the rows of petals are placed evenly on top of one another) was used. The base of the Byoudouin Amida Nyoraizou uses the fukiyoseshiki arrangement. The *kayouza 荷葉座 or lotus-leaf base is usually in the form of turned-down lotus leaves forming a round mound with turned-up edges. The kayouza is generally reserved for images of *ten 天 (Heavenly Beings). The *senjiza 宣字座 (base in the form of the character 'sen' 宣) was commonly used in the 7c for *nyorai 如来 images. It consists of two platforms *kamachiza 框座 with a rectangular box koshi 腰 in between them. This type of pedestal may also be referred to as shumiza 須弥座 as it is also considered to reflect the form of Mt. Sumeru (Jp: *Shumisen 須弥山), the sacred mountain located at the center of the world. An example of an image with a senjiza is the Yakushi Sanzonzou 薬師三尊像 at Yakushiji 薬師寺 in Nara. In cases where the mo 裳 or robe of the image hangs down over the pedestal, the base may also be termed *mokakeza 裳懸座. Another base which often has the drapery hanging down over it is the *touza 榻座, a cylindrical pedestal frequently used in the 7-8c for bodhisattva images. The form of a rock is also often used for daiza. Guardian figures are often depicted on an *iwaza 岩座 (rock-shaped base). *Fudou Myouou 不動明王 is another image that often sits or stands on a rock-shaped base, however, he can also sit upon a *shitsushitsuza 瑟瑟座 which is an abstracted rock-shaped base made up of polygon-shaped blocks piled on top of each other. Figures of ten Heavenly Beings occasionally stand on *suhamaza 洲浜座. This is similar to a rock-shaped base, but it is meant to resemble a sand bar with softly undulating sides. The 8c sculptures of the *Juudai deshi 十大弟子 (Ten Disciples of the Buddha) and the *hachibushuu 八部衆 (Eight Classes of Heavenly Beings) from Koufukuji 興福寺 in Nara all have this type of base. Images of *Amida 阿弥陀 and attendants who come down to meet aspirants and guide them to the Pure Land joudo 浄土 (see *raigou-zu 来迎図) may ride on cloud-shaped bases *kumoza 雲座. In some cases the image is positioned on a lotus pedestal with the cloud forms beneath it. Cloud bases came about during the late Heian period with the rise of the Pure Land Buddhist sects, and became more prevalent in the Kamakura period. *Ｊuuniten 十二天 (Twelve Deities) may be depicted seated on *kuyuza くゆ座, bases in the form of a rug with tassels or on *choujuuza 鳥獣座 (pedestals in the form of a bird or a beast). Touji 東寺 in Kyoto owns two sets of juuniten paintings (12c): one with kuyuza and the other with choujuuza. Choujuuza were especially popular in the Esoteric Buddhist tradition. Each of the five sculptures of the 9c Godai Kokuuzou Bosatsu 五大虚空蔵菩薩 from Touji ride a bird or animal vehicle. The white elephant of *Fugen 普賢 and the lion of *Monju 文殊 are frequently depicted. The lion base is specifically called *shishiza 獅子座. There exist 3c Indian images of Shaka that sit on a square throne flanked by lions, which may be the origin of the form of the shishiza. Daiza are not only used for Buddhist deities; *shouza 牀座 (platforms) and *agedatamiza 上畳座 (raised mats) are among the pedestals used for images of priests and Shinto deities. In the broad sense of the daiza category *ishi 倚子 (early chairs) can also be included. The *kyokuroku 曲ろく (a type of curved or folding chair) is a common style used in portraits.
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