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Takaoka Daibutsu: The handsome Buddha of Japan

By Abhijit Sen

Japan is renowned for its rich cultural heritage that includes numerous Buddha statues, each with its own unique history and cultural significance. Among these, the Nara Todaiji Temple, Kamakura Daibutsu, and the Great Buddha of Takaoka are considered the most significant. The Great Buddha of Takaoka, located in Toyama Prefecture, is one of the most impressive Buddha statues in Japan.

This statue is made of bronze and stands over 15 meters tall, weighing an incredible 65 tons. It is known for its intricate details, exceptional craftsmanship, and remarkable preservation, making it a true masterpiece of Japanese art. It is also noteworthy that the famous poet Akiko Yosano visited Takaoka Daibutsu and referred to it as the ‘Handsome Buddha’.

A Brief History

The Takaoka Great Buddha’s pedestal doubles as a gallery that houses a variety of objects. Image: Abhijit Sen

In 1745, a priest at Gokurakuji temple created a wooden statue of the Great Buddha, which was later destroyed by fire along with a few reproductions. The last wooden statue was destroyed in 1900, and it was then decided to create a new statue using fire-resistant material. Skilled artisans from Takaoka city crafted an exquisite bronze statue of Buddha, utilizing their exceptional talent in metal-casting.

Upon entering the temple, there are two Nio statues, which serve as guardian deities to protect against enemies. The entrance leads to a long corridor where visitors can worship the Great Buddha. As they approach, they witness its eyes slowly opening. The Takaoka Great Buddha’s pedestal doubles as a gallery that houses a variety of objects, including the wooden head of the previous statue, statues of the Amida triad, and Buddhist paintings.

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I am a lifelong Buddhist.

I am not into Buddhist statues.

From an artistic view, they can be interesting.

What did Buddha say about statues?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't think I've ever seen Buddha depicted with a 'stache and soul patch before.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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