Edo Amida Nyorai Amitabha 19th Century Antique Wood Buddha Butsudan Zushi Shrine 阿彌陀佛
Japanese Edo Lacquered Gilt Wood Zushi Shrine
Amida Buddha Shrine 阿彌陀佛
Circa: Edo Period. early 19th century
Zushi: H 20.25 in. (51.5cm), W 7 in. (18cm), D 5 in. (12.5cm)
Figure: H 9.25 in. (23.5cm), W 3 in. (7.5cm), D 2.5 in. (6.4cm)
Aged with minor losses on pedestal, overall very good condition!
What appears to be merely an old lacquered box, when open, the inside of this zushi reveals a radiant wash of gold illuminating a stately golden Buddha, Amida Nyorai standing atop a five-tiers pedestal with a large golden nimbus. The Buddha of Infinite Light is carved with utmost finesse; detailed with parallel arcs of falling garment in a concentric pulse, simple robes fall in rhythmic folds and large draped sleeves framing the imperturbable figure; his hands in vitarka mudra, the gesture of discourse, face is broad with full cheeks, curving lips and arching brows above inserted crystal eyes. As he welcomes all sentients on an open lotus, an infinite space of luminous consciousness in this centuries-old shrine shines forth resplendently.
Buddhist traveling altars and shrines create a sacred space of spiritual magnetism and are the product of dedicated craftsmanship. A single Buddhist altar involves several different skilled crafts: wood carving, painting, metalworking, lacquering and application of gold leaf; skills which were traditionally passed on from father to son. Traveling monks were required to have their own prayer tables and other appurtenances, and zushi were made to satisfy their needs. Such compact shrines became quite popular with laity and clergy since the 9th century.