Tips for the Appreciation of Buddhist Statuary (2)

by Yoshihisa

          This time let me write about nyorai ranked highest among the four groups of Buddhist statuary.

     As I wrote last time, nyorai is the one that has achieved the ultimate state of enlightenment or Buddhahood.  Nyorai has two charateristics in appearance which the other three groups do not have.  One characteristic is that he has small, tightly-bound, clamshell knots called rahotsu on the head.  And the other is that he wears a very simple cloth on the upper body without decorative jewelry or accessories.  This simply tells us that nyorai has thrown away all the worldly desires.  Below are some of the nyorai statues most commonly known in Japan.

     Shaka Nyorai is the origin of all Buddhist statuary.  Many Shaka Nyorai statues are holding the palm-up semui-in mudra and the palm-down yogan-in mudra.  This hand posture means that everything is alright and a wish will be fulfilled.  Shaka triad statues of Horyuji Temple, Nara, sculpted by Buddhist sculptor Tori in the 7th century, are among the oldest nyorai statues.

     Yakushi Nyorai is the one that is thought to help in recovering from illness, when worshipped, with yakko ( a medicine jar ) on his left hand.  This statue is often flanked by two attendants, Nikko ( sunlight ) Bosatsu and Gakkou ( moonlight ) Bosatsu.  It is not rare that the statue is surrounded by Jyuni-Shinsho ( twelve guardian deities ).  One good example is found at Shin-Yakushiji Temple, Nara.

     Amida Nyorai is the one that is believed to come to receive the person at death so that he might go and be reborn in Pure Land paradise.  People often recite the chant "Namu Amida Butsu"  in order that they could enter Pure Land paradise after death.  The most famous Amida Nyorai is the statue of Byodo-in Temple, Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, which was made by Jocho, a renowned Buddhist sculptor in the 11th century.  

     Dainichi Nyorai is the highest manifestation in esoteric Buddhism.  He rules the two worlds of truth and wisdom.  Esoteric Buddhism considers all buddhas, including Shaka Nyorai, incarnations of Dainichi Nyorai.  Unlike other nyorai, Dainichi Nyorai statues have long bound hair with a crown on the head and wear various ornaments.

     Next time let's see what bosatsu statues are like.  See you soon.

Tips for the Appreciation of Buddhist Statuary  (2)

  


29 Jul 2016

Yoshihisa

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“ Excellent guide. Knowledgeable, attentive and very fit!! ”

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3 days ago Traveler: Christopher -   Tour Guide: Yoshihisa

Yoshihisa is an impressive tour guide, Knowledgeable and super attentive. Highly recommended for private tours. If you are looking for an experienced guide, who is fluent in English, sticks to the itinerary (and more), then you MUST try Yoshie's private Kyoto tour. You will not be disappointed. 10 stars from me!! Great Job!
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Yoshi was a great guide, we had a wonderful day touring old Kyoto with him. He was extremely knowledgeable, polite, friendly and helpful. We saw so many amazing places and learnt a lot. We thoroughly recommend him.
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“ Haiku experience ”

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1 month ago Traveler: Don -   Tour Guide: Yoshihisa

Yoshi is a very good guide. We booked an extra hour and were able to see a few more places beyond his base 'favorite golden tour'. He gave us a lesson in Haiku history during our tour and showed us the places where it actually happened. If we had tried to find our own way around, we would not have seen 1/3 of what we did. Plus we would not have met a very kind person. Thank you for everything, Yos...
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1 month ago Traveler: Anton -   Tour Guide: Yoshihisa

Yoshie has a very fluent english, reply our email in an instant, very prompt in schedule, and accomodate our want to go places/itinerary very well. Yoshie guided Our group of 10 people were mostly elderly, through Kyoto and Kobe, with patience and were willing to be flexible when needed. Unfortunately our bus broke down in Kyoto but he managed to arrange alternarive train and got us home safel...
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1 month ago Traveler: Sandra -   Tour Guide: Yoshihisa

3 of us spent a 1/2 day with Yoshi and it was a great time! We chose to go to the bamboo forest, monkey park, and then a secret shrine that he selected which was my favorite on my trip to Japan. It was atop a mountain that was moss covered and just absolutely beautiful surroundings. Yoshi kept up a quick pace which was perfect for us, and we really were able to see a lot of things in the 5 hours w...
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“ Outstanding Guide! ”

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1 month ago Traveler: Geoff -   Tour Guide: Yoshihisa

Yoshie guided me for a full day to some of Kyotos important sites. I only wish I could of spent even more days with him as he is most knowledgeable about topics like history, culture, art, poetry, landscape, Japanese religion, and more. Yoshie came very prepared to describe what I was visiting. He also took me to different city viewpoints that his physical fitness allowed us to get to. Most impor...
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Traveling to a foreign country for the first time is challenging, no matter how seasoned of a traveler is. The language, the climate, and simply navigating your way around can be daunting. Even with the best planning, unless you have lot's of time to spare and don't mind getting lost. Plus the fact that there are simply details of where to go and HOW to get there is usually best left to someone l...
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“ Golden tour of Kyoto with two chikdren ”

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We took the Golden tour of Kyoto with Yoshie and it was amazing. We were traveling with our 7 and 8 year old children and my son had hurt his foot and was using a wheelchair. It was challenging but yoshie was patient and we saw everything. We walked 7 miles that day and took many trains but it was worth it. Every single site was fantastic and we learned so much from Yoshie. We also went to the M...
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4 months ago Traveler: Joe -   Tour Guide: Yoshihisa

We saw a week's worth of sights in one day touring with Yoshie! He prepared an incredible itinerary, and we really got to see all the highlights of Kyoto. He's a great communicator and incredibly knowledgeable about the sights and the surrounding areas. Highly recommended!
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Yoshie-san was friendly and warm. My family really enjoyed his company and guidance. He took us to quaint restaurants, something that we appreciated and not the usual touristy restaurants. He is knowledgeable and has a good command of English. We really look forward to meeting him again in the near future!
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