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Shichijo bussho

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  • Japanese: 七条仏所 (shichijou bussho)

The Buddhist sculpture studio at Shichijô (lit. "Seventh Avenue," in Kyoto) was the preeminent such studio in late 16th to early 17th century Japan. Claiming teacher-student descent from Jôchô, the great master of the 11th century famed for his Amida statue at Byôdô-in, the Shichijô studio created a number of the most politically prominent Buddhist sculptures of the Azuchi-Momoyama and early Edo periods. As was typical for Buddhist sculptors, the studio's craftsmen were all men who had taken the tonsure.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi commissioned the studio, under studio head Kôshô, to produce a Great Buddha (daibutsu), for the temple Hôkô-ji, as well as having them take part in the reconstruction of Enryaku-ji.

The Shichijô studio then went on to work for the Tokugawa shogunate, producing in 1631 a Yakushi Triad and sculptures of the Twelve Heavenly Generals for the temples at Nikkô, and, it is believed, a sculpture of Amida and two of Kannon for Nikkô's Rinnô-ji in 1645. After the Hôkô-ji was destroyed in a fire, the Shichijô studio, headed by Genshin at that time, was commissioned to produce a replacement for the lost Daibutsu.

The head of the studio in 1671 was named Kôjô. Under his leadership, at that time, the studio produced a large Shaka statue for use in ceremonies associated with the 21st anniversary of the death of Shogun Tokugawa Iemitsu.

References

  • Timon Screech, Obtaining Images, University of Hawaii Press (2012), 102-103.
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