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Image: PIXTA/ 東奔西走
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Motomachi Stone Buddha: A stone carving that has stood the test of time

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By Elizabeth Sok

Designated as a national historic site by the Japanese government in 1934, the Motomachi Stone Buddha is a stone carving on a cliffside in a quiet part of Oita City that has stood the test of time.

Between hot springs soaks and delicious toriten (tempura fried chicken), hallmarks of a great trip to Oita, make some time to venture out to this secluded treasure.

The Jocho School

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The statue exemplifies key characteristics of the Jocho School of Japanese sculpture. Image: PIXTA/ marumaru

The Motomachi Buddha exemplifies the key characteristics of the Jocho School of Japanese sculpture which developed out of the work of a sculptor of the same name. Working in Nara in the first half of the eleventh century, Jocho created some of the most well-renowned Buddhist carvings in Japan, including Amitabha in Nara’s Byodo-in Temple. His innovative techniques and style which include simplistic poses, gentle demeanor, round face and naturally flowing robes were passed down by his descendants and came to dominate sculpting in the Kamakura period (1192-1333).

The Statue

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Carved in the likeness of Yakushi Nyorai, also known as the Medicine Buddha Image: PIXTA/ 東奔西走

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This would be a trip that would be marvelous to take. Art in any form that has stood through years and years is magnificent.

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