An 8th century armArm of buddhism deity image and its bust
1999/12/12 in Tokyo National MuseumA I appreciated am arm made of laquer in Tenpyo-period(8th century) Enlarged Image Its label is " An arm of a Buddhism Guardian image in Kofuku-ji temple in Nara, japan.
Because I had been appreciated the image bust(about H. 50cm) which was called "Go-Bu-Jyo" in Temple-Museum in Kofuku-ji, sometimes, I'm impressed the arm. This was in lost West Golden Hall in Kofuku-ji and one of 8 images which called a group"Ten-Ryu-8-bu" made in 8th century with support of the mother of an empress. Following old documents in Sho-so-In collection, the sculpturor is attributed to "Syo-Gun-Man-Puku", and the painter to "Hata Ushi-Kai". Colour and gilt was repainted in Kamakura period( 13th century), but the repaint seems to conserve original 8th century design.
The dark colour hand and iron lines on tips of fingers like other images in Temple-Museum in Kofuku-ji. Other 7 images are saved almost safe. The left arm of Kin-nara was lost, but this arm doesn't match KIn-nara's rest body. Therefore, attribution to "Go-Bu-Jyo" is credible.
4 of the 8 images have boy/girl faces. The boyish face of the bust is attractive. Why is only this arm saved in the museum? Condition is better than the bust, gilt and colour well survived. I guess that the PRECUSION(1868-1871) attacked Kofuku-ji temple severely. A list recorded this a donation from a person in about 1890. A collector got this arm then.
The PRECUSION happened after the Meiji-revolution achieved. As many cathedrals were destroyed in French-revolution, many buddhist temples and artifacts were destroyed in that time by riot and local loads as ancien regime. In 1878, Meiji goverment took most real esteet property of buddhist temples. This economical attack was very serious for old noble temples. In 1871, the goverment started conservation lawsuit for old artifacts in old temples and shrines. Such vandalism was terminating.