Seated Amida Buddha, the hands placed centrally on the lap in the Amida jo-in concentration mudra, sculpted in relief from an iron-rich igneous stone. Muromachi Period ca. 1500. Overall softening of the lines and contours, and a small chip on the upper edge of the overarching mandorla.
Height: 51.5 cm
Width: 19 cm
Depth: 12 cm
Broadly speaking, pre-Edo Period Buddhist stone sculpture tends to show the following characteristics: (1) flatness, in two senses, namely, (a) shallow depth relative to height and width, and (b) shallow relief sculpting; (2) a triangulated upper mandorla resembling a pediment, usually jutting ledge-like outward over the figure; (3) a base carved pointedly for insertion directly into the ground as opposed to flatly for placement upon the ground; (4) stylistic primitivism with regard to the treatment of the deity depicted; (5) an overwhelming predominance of Amida Buddha depictions, nearly always in the seated position with hands placed centrally on the lap in the Amida jo-in concentration mudra; and (6) an absence of both date and inscription.
Although lacking a pediment-like upper mandorla, noted in point (2) above, this piece shows stylistic characteristics that clearly mark it as a pre-Edo stone. If placed outdoors, it can easily be inserted into the ground. For indoor display, it can be propped up against a wall or other form of lateral support.