kumoza 雲座
KEY WORD : art history / sculptures
A base for a Buddhist image *daiza 台座 which takes the form of clouds. The image may stand or sit on a lotus pedestal *rengeza 蓮華座 with clouds beneath it. Cloud bases came about during the late Heian period with the rise of Pure Land Buddhism, Joudokyou 浄土教, and became more prevalent in the Kamakura period. The tradition of riding on clouds comes from the concept of raigou (see *raigou-zu 来迎図), where the deities come down to meet aspirants and guide them to paradise. The kumoza is used for *nyorai 如来 and bodhisattva *bosatsu 菩薩 figures and can be found in triads sansonzou 三尊像 or with single images. All three figures in the Amida Triad Amida Sanzonzou 阿弥陀三尊像 by Kaikei 快慶 from Joudoji 浄土寺 (1197) in Hyougo prefecture, stand on cloud-shaped bases with lotus-petals between the figures and the clouds. "Bodhisattvas Riding on Clouds" Unchuu Kuyou Bosatsu 雲中供養菩薩 at Byoudouin *Hououdou 平等院鳳凰堂 (1053) in Kyoto, are examples of sculptures standing on cloud-shaped bases without a lotus-petal support.


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