Go around the world of Buddha statues 9: the statues of Korea and Japan


 one of the Four Heavenly Kings, Beomeosa temple, South Korea 

< 1. one of the Four Heavenly Kings, Beomeosa temple, South Korea >

When I am traveling in Korea and China, I wonder why it differs from Japanese Buddha statues.

The Japanese Buddha statues began from imitation of the Korean Peninsula and China.

The difference seemed to have become big gradually.

I investigate about the difference between Korea and Japanese Buddha statue today.

 

韓国や中国を旅行していると、日本の仏像となぜ違うのか不思議に思う。

日本の仏像は朝鮮半島と中国の模倣から始まりました。

いつしかその違いは大きくなったようです。

今日は、韓国と日本の仏像の違いについて探ってみます。

 

two of the Four Heavenly Kings, Pulguksa temple, South Korea

< 2. two of the Four Heavenly Kings, Pulguksa temple, South Korea >

The Four Heavenly Kings of Beomeosa temple and Pulguksa temple seems to be relatively new.

In these images, there is a different characteristic from Japanese things.

The greatest thing of the different expression is a round big eye.

Furthermore, a dragon and a ball, a Biwa (stringed instrument) in his hand is different from Japanese things.

 

梵魚寺と仏国寺の四天王像は比較的新しいように思える。

これらの像には、日本の四天王と異なる特徴がある。

異なる表情の最大のものは丸い大きな目です。

もう一つは、手に持っている龍と玉、琵琶(弦楽器)が日本と異なります。

 

Four Heavenly Kings, Kaijyusen temple, Kyoto, 8~13th century 

< 3.  Four Heavenly Kings, Kaijyusen temple, Kyoto, 8~13th century >

This is the typical Four Heavenly Kings of Japan.

Above-mentioned Four Heavenly Kings of Korean does not have a raged aspect, and there is rather the atmosphere of the welcome in the aspect.

On the other hand, I seem to have not dignity in the aspect.

 

これは日本の四天王の代表的な姿です。

韓国の上述の四天王には憤怒相が無く、むしろ歓迎しているような雰囲気がある。

一方で、私には威厳が無いように思える。

 

We look at early Four Heavenly Kings of Korean Peninsula

韓国の初期の四天王像を見ます

statues of Sokkuram temple, Korean, Silla period, 774 years

< 4.  statues of Sokkuram temple, Korean, Silla period, 774 years >

Above fig.:  a Buddha in central, Kongorikishi on both sides, and carved relief of Four Heavenly Kings of the gateway.

Below fig.:  enlarged image of Four Heavenly Kings.

Most of early Four Heavenly Kings are stone statues, and their expression is not clear.

Then, we look at a slightly old Four Heavenly Kings in China.

 

上図:中央に如来、左右に金剛力士、通路左右に4体の四天王のレリーフ。

下図:通路の四天王の2体を拡大。

初期の四天王と金剛力士像は石像が多く、表情が鮮明でない。

そこで少し古い中国の四天王像を見ます。

 

.  statues in Longmen Grottoes, China, Tang period, 675 years 

< 5.  statues in Longmen Grottoes, China, Tang period, 675 years >

Left side: one of Four Heavenly Kings with a small story pagoda.

Right side: this Kongorikishi image resembles Japanese thing.

When Buddhism was spread from China to Korean Peninsula, the Four Heavenly Kings seems to have had a raged aspect.

Gradually, the statues were covered with a crown, changed the belongings, and changed the facial expression, too.

 

左側:宝塔を持っている四天王。

右側:この金剛力士像は日本のものに似ている。

中国から仏教が伝播した初期、朝鮮半島の四天王像も憤怒相を持っていたのだろう。

それがいつしか、冠を被り、持ち物を変え、表情も変わっていった。

amitabha Buddha triad, Muwis Temple, Korea, Korea Dynasties period,1476 years

< 6. amitabha Buddha triad, Muwis Temple, Korea, Korea Dynasties period,1476 years >

I think that the Buddha statues are typical things, when I watched with sightseeing of Korea.

Maybe it’s because it is covered gold leaf, but I think it is considerably different from Japanese statues.

The facial expression and head of the center Buddha, and a crown of right side Bodhisattva is different from Japanese statues.

Especially the outline of the face became richly square from the slender face of old times.

 

これらの仏像は、私が韓国の観光で見た仏像の平均的な姿だと思う。

金箔のせいかもしれないが、日本の如来三尊像とはかなり違う印象を受ける。

中央の如来の表情と頭、右の菩薩像の冠が異なる(左は地蔵菩薩か)。

特に顔の輪郭が昔の細面から豊かに角張っている。

 

Buddha seated, Buseok Temple, Korea, Goryeo, 11~12th century 

< 7. Buddha seated, Buseok Temple, Korea, Goryeo, 11~12th century >

This statue is several hundred years older than the statues of the above image.

I feel it is near to the aspect of the Japanese statues.

Next time, I infer what occurred in Buddha statues of Korea.

 

この像は上図の如来像より数百年古く、表情に日本の如来像に近いものを感じる。

次回は、韓国の仏像世界に何が起きたかを推理します。

 

 

Categories: culture+society, history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, travel+photo | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Go around the world of Buddha statues 9: the statues of Korea and Japan

  1. So is the difference with the Japanese Buddha the rage? Why is that? Was the Japanese culture centered around rage at the time? or was it to scare people? why will the representation of Buddha, a deity, be full of rage? And why is it that on mainland, the rage is not present?

    • In primitive religion of the world, many deities that looked scary to send away the devil and to show strength were born.
      The Buddha statues (Buddhist Tantrism was born in India) of scary face reached China, Korea, and Japan in about the 7,8th centuries.
      On the continent, the expression of the statues did not change afterwards.
      However, in Japan, the statues became more fearful.
      I think that the interpretation of the scary aspect radicalized, because Japan is an island and the Buddhist Tantrism was thought as important.

      世界の原始宗教では、悪魔を追い払い、強さを現す為に、恐い顔をした神像が生まれました。
      最初インドで生まれた恐い顔の像(密教)が中国、韓国、日本に伝わったのは7~8世紀頃です。
      その後大陸では、恐い顔の仏像に変化はありませんでした。しかし日本では、その仏像をさらに恐くするようになった。その理由は密教が重視されたこと、島国なので解釈が先鋭化したことによると思います。

      • Thank you for your reply. This clarifies a lot of questions I had. This is very similar to some cultures in Africa, where some masks will be made to have scary faces so as to chase the evil spirit away.

      • Thank you!

  2. Excellent post with interesting content and wonderful photos.

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