Saturday, May 27, 2006

A.I.C. : Hands of the Heian and Kamakura

It looks like the 12th Century was something of a watershed in Japanese history -- and this large-scale event was marked by new styles of painting - sculpture - and prose -- that are memorable, dramatic, and often-called realistic.

Can we tell that difference from looking at the hands of a few near-life-size statues in the collection of the A.I.C. ?

Here's the Heian:

Heian: 10th-12th C. -- Yakushi Nyorai (deity of healing)

Yakushi Nyorai

Heian: 11th C. -- Bishamon -- deity who guards temples directions)


-------- and here's some Kamakura:

Kamakura:1185-1333 -- Shukongo Jin (deity who protects the law)

Kamakura:1185-1333 -- Shukongo Jin

Kamakura:1185-1333 -- Shukongo Jin

Kamakura: 1185-1333 -- Nyorin Kannon (deity of compassion, wish granting)

Kamakura: 1185-1333 Fudo Miyo-o

Fudo Miyo-o

Kamakura: 1185-1333 Jizo Bosatsu (deity of compassion)

Jizo Bosatsu

I'm not sure what conclusions to draw.

The Kamakura deities of protection seem much more fierce -- with energy being expressed rather than potential -- and that Heian deity of compassion seems
oh-so-delicate. Overall -- maybe the Heian feels more other-worldly or heavenly -- while the Kamakura is more earth-bound.


Blogger Gawain said...

is a valid comparison between the AIC heian and kamakura statuary valid about heian and kamakura staturary in general? :)

i love the second photo -- what an amazingly beautiful hand, i want to fall on my knees and worship

May 28, 2006  
Blogger chris miller said...

Can this comparison be generalized ?
I have no idea --- that's why I posted it -- so people (like yourself ?) who have been to Japan and visited the great temples can offer their opinions.

And I also love the second photo -- but then -- actually -- I love them all -- even the fierce ones.

May 28, 2006  
Blogger New York Red said...

Amazing...I love hands, these hands for sure, and touching and being touched is one of the best senses of being a human...I notice people's hands soon after I stare into their eyes...thanksfor this.

May 31, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible for you to post a detailed picture of Shukongo-jin's face and/or complete sculpture?

August 15, 2006  
Blogger chris miller said...

In order to improve the prospects of my next life -- I've posted a comlete picture of Shukongo-Jim here

August 18, 2006  

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