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Japanese Buddhism, Photo Dictionary of Japan's Shinto and Buddhist DivinitiesRETURN TO TOP PAGE of Japanese Buddhist Statuary A to Z Photo Library & Dictionary of Gods, Goddesses, Shinto Kami, Creatures, and DemonsCopyright and Usage PoliciesJump to Our Online Store Selling Handcrafted Statues
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QUICK START
Home: What's New
Buddha's Teachings
History & Timeline
Historical Buddha
Student's Guide
Teacher's Guide

DEITY GUIDES
Who's Who
Buddha
Bodhisattva
Myo-o
Shinto Kami
Shugendo
Stars & Planets
Tenbu (Deva)

OTHER GUIDES
About Site Author
Bibliography
Buddhism in Japan
Busshi Glossary
Carving Techniques
Cycle of Suffering
Drapery/Robe Guide
Mandala Guide
Mudra Guide
Objects Guide
Pilgrimage Guide
Shinto Guide
Statues by Artist
Statues by Era
Symbols Guide
Terminology

Buddhist-Artwork.com, our sister site, offers online sales of hand-carved wood Buddha statues.
Buddhist-Artwork.com, our sister site, offers online sales of hand-carved wood Buddha statues.

A TO Z INDEX
3 Element Stele
3 Monkeys
4 Bosatsu
4 Celestial Emblems
4 Heavenly Kings
5 (Number Five)
5 Elements
5 Tathagata
5 Tier Pagoda
5 Wisdom Kings
6 Jizo
6 Kannon
6 Realms
6 Nara Schools
7 Lucky Gods
7 Nara Temples
8 Legions
8 Zodiac Patrons
10 Kings of Hell
12 Devas
12 Generals
12 Zodiac Animals
13 Butsu (Funerals)
28 Legions
28 Constellations
30 Buddha of Month
30 Kami of Month
33 Kannon
About the Author
Agyo
Aizen
Amano Jyaku
Amida Nyorai
Apsaras
Arakan (Rakan)
Arhat (Rakan)
Ashuku Nyorai
Asuka Era Art Tour
Asura (Ashura)
Baku (Eats Dreams)
Bamboo
Benzaiten (Benten)
Bibliography
Big Buddha
Birushana Nyorai
Bishamon-ten
Bodhisattva
Bonbori Artwork
Bosatsu Group
Bosatsu of Mercy
Bosatsu on Clouds
Buddha (Historical)
Buddha Group
Buddha Statues
Busshi (Sculptors)
Calligraphy
Celestial Emblems
Celestial Maidens
Children Patrons
Classifying
Color Red
Confucius
Contact Us
Daibutsu
Daijizaiten
Daikokuten
Dainichi Nyorai
Daruma (Zen)
Datsueba (Hell Hag)
Deva (Tenbu)
Donations
Dosojin
Dragon
Drapery (Robes)
Early Buddhism Japan
Ebisu
Eight Legions
En no Gyoja
Estores
Family Tree
Footprints of Buddha
Fox (Inari)
Fudo (Fudou) Myoo
Fugen Bosatsu
Fujin (Wind God)
Fukurokuju
Gakko & Nikko
Gardens
Gigeiten
Godai Nyorai
Goddess of Mercy
Goddesses
Gongen
Gravestones
Hachi Bushu
Hachiman
Hands (Mudra)
Hell (10 Judges)
Hell Hag (Datsueba)
Hell Scrolls
Henge
Hikyu (Lion Beast)
Holy Mountains
Ho-o (Phoenix)
Hotei
Idaten
Inari (Fox)
Ishanaten
Ishidoro (Ishidourou)
Jikokuten
Jizo Bosatsu
Jocho Busshi
Juni Shi
Juni Shinsho
Juni Ten
Junrei (Pilgrimage)
Jurojin
Juuzenji
Jyaki or Tentoki
Kaikei Busshi
Kamakura Buddhism
Kankiten
Kannon Bosatsu
Kappa
Kariteimo (Kishibojin)
Karura
Karyoubinga
Kendatsuba
Kichijouten
Kitchen Gods
Kishibojin (Kariteimo)
Kitsune (Oinari)
Kokuzo Bosatsu
Koujin (Kojin)
Komokuten
Korean Buddhism
Koushin
Lanterns (Stone)
Links
Magatama
Making Statues
Mandara (Mandala)
Maneki Neko
Marishiten (Marici)
Miroku Bosatsu
Monju Bosatsu
Monkeys
Moon Lodges
Mother Goddess
Mudra (Hands)
Myoken (Pole Star)
Myo-o
Nara Era Art Tour
Newsletter Sign Up
Nijuhachi Bushu
Nikko & Gakko
Ninpinin
Nio Protectors
Nyorai Group
Objects & Symbols
Onigawara
Phoenix (Ho-o)
Pilgrimage Guide
Pottery
Protective Stones
Raigo Triad
Raijin (Thunder God)
Rakan (Arhat)
Red Clothing
Reincarnation
Robes (Drapery)
Rock Gardens
Sanbo Kojin
Sanno Gongen
Sarutahiko
Sculptors (Busshi)
Seishi Bosatsu
Sendan Kendatsuba
Seven Lucky Gods
Shachi, Shachihoko
Shaka Nyorai
Shape Shifters
Shichifukujin
Shijin (Shishin)
Shinra Myoujin
Shinto Clergy
Shinto Concepts
Shinto Kami
Shinto Main Menu
Shinto Sects
Shinto Shrines
Shishi (Lion)
Shitenno
Shoki
Shomen Kongo
Shotoku Taishi
Shrines
Shugendo
Siddhartha
Six States
Star Deities
Stone Gardens
Stone Graves
Stone Lanterns
Stones (Top Menu)
Suijin (Water Kami)
Symbols & Objects
Tamonten
Taishakuten
Tanuki
Temples
Temple Lodging
Tenbu Group
Tengu
Tennin & Tennyo
Tentoki or Jyaki
Terminology
Tiantai Art Tour
Tibetan Carpets
Tibet Photos
Tibetan Tanka
Transmigration
Ungyo
Unkei Busshi
Videos on Buddhism
Water Basin
Weapons
Wheel of Life
Yakushi Nyorai
Yasha (Yaksha)
Zao Gongen
Zen (Daruma)
Zen Art Tour
Zodiac Calendar
Zochoten

 

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BUDDHA STATUES
Butsuzo - Japanese for Buddha Statue, Buddha Statues, or Buddhist Statuary

Butsuzō (or Butsuzo) 仏像. Literally Buddha Statue. A Japanese term that refers to all types of Buddhist statuary regardless of the material used or the ranking of the deity (e.g., Buddha, Bodhisattva, Myo-o, Deva, Monk). See Comparing Buddhist Statuary in Modern Asia.

Jump to our sister site selling hand-carved wooden Buddha Statues from Japan, China, and SE Asia

Buddha Statues for Online Purchase. The growing success of the A-to-Z Dictionary (this site) led to the launch of Buddhist-Artwork.com in July 2006. Buddhist-Artwork.com is an online store selling hand-carved wooden Buddha statues and Bodhisattva carvings, especially those crafted for the Japanese and Chinese markets. Buddhist-Artwork is our sister site, our commercial arm, while the A-to-Z Dictionary functions as a noncommercial knowledge center.  

Comparing Modern Buddhist Statuary in Asia
Buddha Statues Differ Greatly Among Asian Nations.
Most web sites sell statues from Tibet, Nepal, and India.
Our estore, in contrast, is devoted to Japanese statuary.

Japan

Mahayana
& Esoteric

Statues: Wood primarily. Sublime, subtle, with great attention to realistic features & proportions. Very unique to Japan, and primarily from the Mahayana tradition. Japan’s Esoteric statuary, however, remains akin to earlier Hindu forms. Our sister site, Buddhist-Artwork.com, sells 100+ statues from the Japanese tradition. Almost all pieces are wood statues.

India

Hindu,
Therevada
& Esoteric

Statues: Metal & Stone primarily. Often multi-armed & multi-headed. Lack realism & life-like proportions. Very exaggerated features, akin to original Hindu forms.

Southeast Asia,
Sri Lanka, Burma
Cambodia, Laos, Thailand

Therevada Primarily

Statues: Metal, Stone, & Wood primarily. Often with elongated facial features, hands, and limbs. Lack life-like proportions. Distinctly different from Japanese styles, especially the facial features.

Tibet
Mongolia

Mahayana
& Esoteric

Statues: Metal & Stone primarily. Kannon statues predominate. Other deities often very esoteric, with multiple heads & arms. Esoteric Buddhism practiced mainly in Tibet, but has strong hold among Japan’s Shingon & Tendai sects.

Vietnam

Mahayana

Statues: Elongated faces, hands, & limbs.

Korea

Mahayana

Statues: Similar to Japan. Korea in fact introduced Buddhism to Japan.

China

Mahayana
Taoist
Confucianist

Statues: Metal, Stone, Ceramic, Wood. Tendency toward gaudiness & loud colors, yet Mahayana iconography very similar to Japan. China was biggest influence on Japanese Buddhism.

Learn Much More About the
Three Main Schools of Buddhism in Asia

A-to-Z Photo Dictionary of Japan’s Buddhist & Shinto Deities
This site (the site you are now viewing) is perhaps the world’s largest online visual database devoted to Japanese Buddhist statuary. Online since 1995, it is widely referenced by universities, museums, galleries, art historians, students, Buddhist practitioners, and lay people from around the world. The photo dictionary now contains 4,000+ photos of Buddhist artwork and, to a lesser degree, of Shinto art. It also contains hundreds of textual reviews of the many deities in Japan’s Buddhist and Shinto pantheon, including demons and monsters, judges of hell, noted monks and teachers, and religious icons and symbolism. Updated frequently. Click a link in the left column to get started. 

About the Site Creator
Mark Schumacher is a longtime Japan resident. He has been photographing and cataloging and learning about Buddhist statuary for over 12 years. He holds a BA in Asian Studies (Hamline University), and an MA in Japanese Studies (Johns Hopkins University). He is trained in both the Japanese and Chinese languages. He works out of his home in Kamakura as a writer, editor, PC consultant, web designer, and translator (J-E) for major Japanese and foreign entities. Born in Minnesota (USA). Collecting Buddha statues has been a longtime passion for Mark, and he enjoys sharing this enthusiasm. Resume here.  

  • The A-to-Z Photo Dictionary and Buddhist-Artwork.com are not associated with any educational institution, private corporation, governmental agency, or religious group.

Fengxian Temple in China. Vairocana Buddha (aka Dainichi Nyorai)
Vairocana Buddha (Jp. = Dainichi Nyorai) at Fengxian Temple 奉先寺, China
Ancestor Worshipping Temple. Statues is 17 meters in height; carved in limestone.
Site Author Mark Schumacher at bottom of photo.
  Longmen Caves Photo Tour Here

Jump to our sister site selling hand-carved wooden Buddha Statues from Japan, China, and SE Asia
Buy Quality Buddhist Statuary
Our Sister Store Offers 100+ Hand Carved Products
Click here to enter our Online Buddha Statue Store

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Copyright 1995 - 2013. Mark Schumacher. Email Mark.
All stories and photos, unless specified otherwise, by Schumacher.
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Please do not copy these pages or photos into Wikipedia or elsewhere without proper citation !