Go around the world of Buddha statues 2:  The philosophizing statues of Miroku Bosatsu(Maitreya)


 

 Miroku Bosatsu statue in Koryu-ji(temple), woodwork, the first of the 7th century, in Kyoto 

< Miroku Bosatsu statue in Koryu-ji(temple), woodwork, the first of the 7th century, in Kyoto >

 

The philosophizing statues of Miroku Bosatsu(Maitreya) are a kind of the Buddha statues that are well known in Japan.

The mysterious statues show some creed of the Buddhism.

 

日本で良く知られた仏像に弥勒菩薩半跏思惟像があります。

この神秘的な像は、仏教の教えを示しています。

 

“The Thinker” on “The Gates of Hell” was made by Rodin in 1902. 

< “The Thinker” on “The Gates of Hell” was made by Rodin in 1902. >

It was worrying on the gate of the hell and grimacing.

Difference between the countenance of the philosophizing statue and it is a lot.

 

地獄の門にて思い悩み、苦痛に歪む顔がそこにはある。

半跏思惟像の表情とは大きな違いがある。

 

the Miroku Bosatsu statue in Koryu-ji

< the Miroku Bosatsu statue in Koryu-ji >

The right leg of the statue is set to the floor, a fingertip touches the cheek lightly and the philosophizing face smiles faintly

The Miroku Bosatsu was a Bodhisattva that was promised to become the Buddha, and was considered to be the Savior those days.

People thought it important to realize the truth like a Buddha, in order to live in pure and fortunate land.

Therefore, the posture that the Buddha or Bodhisattva was philosophizing in was important.

However, probably, the Bodhisattva under training was asked for a posture different from the completed Buddha.

 

Is this posture unique to Japan?

 

右足を床におき、指先が軽く頬に触れ、思索する顔には、微かな微笑みがある。

弥勒菩薩は、仏陀になることが約束された菩薩で、当時、救世主と考えられた。

本来、仏陀は真理を悟ることにより、人々が幸せな仏国に住むことが出来ると訴えた。

従って、悟りを得んが為に思索する姿は仏陀にも菩薩にも重要であった。

しかし修行中の菩薩には、完成した仏陀と異なる、この姿勢が求められたのだろう。

 

この姿は日本独自のものだろうか?

 

This gilt bronze is a Miroku Bosatsu statue in South Korea.  

< This gilt bronze is a Miroku Bosatsu statue in South Korea.  >

Buddhism had spread in the Korean Peninsula, and many philosophizing statues of Miroku Bosatsu were made in the 5 ~ 6th century, then some part of it were brought to Japan.

 

朝鮮半島では仏教が普及し、5~6世紀に多くの半跏思惟像が作られ、一部が日本にもたらされた。

 

Miroku Bosatsu statues in China

< Miroku Bosatsu statues in China >

Left statue:  a Cave in the Dunhuang in the first of the 5th century, Gansu.

Right statue:  the ruins of a temple in the middle of the 6th century, Shandong.

It is from the Silk Road in Central Asia that Buddhism reached China, and Buddha statues and Buddhist paintings began to be made from the middle of the 4th century in Dunhuang of a desert oasis.

In China and South Korea, the philosophizing statues of Miroku Bosatsu were also made together with many Buddha statues.

 

左図: 甘粛省、敦煌莫高窟、菩薩半跏像、5世紀初め。

右図: 山東省、龍華寺遺跡、6世紀中頃。

中国に仏教が伝わったのは中央アジアのシルクロードからで、4世紀中頃から砂漠のオアシス敦煌に仏像や仏画が作られ始めた。

中国と韓国では、多くの仏像に混じって半跏思惟像も作られた。

 

About India in the birthplace of Buddhism

Buddha played an active part in the Ganges middle region around the 5th century B.C. 

The Buddha statue has begun to be made from the end of the first century.

At the beginning, the area where the Buddha statue was made briskly was in Gandhara, Pakistan.

 

 

仏教発祥の地、インドでは・・。

お釈迦様は紀元前5世紀頃、ガンジス川中流域で活躍した。

釈迦は悟りを完成させた仏陀として崇拝され、紀元1世紀末から、仏像が作られ始めた。

当初、仏像が盛んに作られた地域が、パキスタンのガンダーラでした。

 

the philosophizing statues of Miroku Bosatsu in Gandhara, Pakistan 

< the philosophizing statues of Miroku Bosatsu in Gandhara, Pakistan >

A: the 2~3rd century.  B: unclear.  C: the 2~3rd century.

Although everything is doing the same posture, it differs from the countenance of Japan delicately.

 

A: 2~3世紀。B: 時期不明。C: 3~4世紀。

これらの像も同じ姿勢だが、日本の像の表情とは微妙に異なっている。

 

Summary

Although there is a little difference in the countenance and the form of the fingertip among them, the philosophizing statues of Miroku Bosatsu have a lot in common with the dress, and the posture.

Buddhism was introduced into Japan from India via Central Asia, China, and the Korean Peninsula after 500 years.

Although the Buddhist scriptures played an important role for transmitting the creed, these Buddha statues would assure people of the divine favor more than it.

 

 

まとめ

若干、顔つきや指先に違いが見られるが、総べての半跏思惟像には服装やポーズに共通するところがあった。

仏教は500年を経て、インドから中央アジア、中国、朝鮮半島を経由して日本に伝来した。

その教えが伝わるには経典も重要な役割も果たしたが、これら仏像は、それ以上に人々に御利益を確信させたことだろう。

 

 

 

Categories: culture+society, history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, Series: Go around the world of Buddha statues | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Go around the world of Buddha statues 2:  The philosophizing statues of Miroku Bosatsu(Maitreya)

  1. WordsFallFromMyEyes

    This was enormously interesting. I really enjoyed it🙂. Especially about the Thinker. And I’d never heard of the Gates of Hell. So they’re real!!

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