Seated Kukai (774-835, known posthumously as Kobo Daishi), the right hand holding a three-pronged vajra (Jp. sankosho) and the left a string of juzu prayer beads, Kobo Daishi's characteristic attributes, sculpted in relief from an iron-rich igneous stone. Late-Edo Period ca. 1850. Very minor old loss and surface cracking. Variegated lichen accumulation.
Height: 39 cm
Width: 18 cm
Depth: 17 cm
Packaged weight: 17 kg.
Founder of the Japanese Shingon sect of esoteric Buddhism, creator of the kana syllabary still used in modern written Japanese, and master calligrapher, Kobo Daishi heads the list of Japan's great cultural heroes. This is a notably well-executed example, suitable for either indoor or outdoor display.