Standing Fudo Myo'o (Acalanatha)

Heian period, 11th century

Tokyo National Museum

Tokyo National Museum

Acala (Fudomyoo) is one of the most often created images among the deities of esoteric Buddhism that Kukai introduced into Japan. While the early Acala images have wide-open eyes and show their upper teeth, this image, one of many standing Acala images created in the late Heian period, features a thinned left eye and fangs over the upper and lower lips. The rolled hair is also a style established after the late Heian period. The facial expression and build display unpretentious humor. The facial features are small and organized in the center and its look of rage is also relatively mild. While there are not many drapery folds, their peaks have shinogi (a diagonal concavity made when a timber is cut diagonally on each side in order to form a peak). It displays a mixture of refinement and tradition, such as weighty modeling of the lower body and the structure comprising the iciboku-zukuri (where an image is created roughly out of one piece of lumber) and warihagi techniques (of dividing the body in half and carving out a hollow in each piece). There is an inscription written in sumi of 南□西来寺 on the halo, but nothing is known about this temple.

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  • Title: Standing Fudo Myo'o (Acalanatha)
  • Date Created: Heian period, 11th century
  • Physical Dimensions: h2364 mm
  • Object Title: 不動明王立像
  • Object Notes(Japanese): 不動明王は空海が将来した密教の尊像の中でも、造像機会の多い像の一つである。初期の像は両目を見開き、上歯列をむき出しにするが、この像は平安時代後期に多く造立された、左目をすがめ唇の上下に牙を出す相貌の不動明王立像の一例。巻き髪にするのも平安時代後期以降の形式である。表情や体つきはこの時代らしいおっとりとした諧謔味がある。顔の造りは小さく中央にまとまり、忿怒の形相もおとなしい。衣文は数少なく整理された感があるが、峰に鎬を残す。下半身の重たげな肉づき、一木造りで割矧造とする構造など、洗練の中に古様が混在する。光背に「南□西来寺」の墨書があるが、この寺については不明。
  • Object Date: 平安時代・11世紀
  • Medium(Japanese): 木造、彩色
  • Type: Sculpture
  • External Link: http://www.emuseum.jp/detail/100429/000/000
  • Medium: Wood with polychromy


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