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Early and Buddhist Stone Sculpture of Japan

A K Bhattacharyya (Author)
Synopsis Japan’s iconographical material covers Buddhism, Shintoism and a few other smaller sects in that country. Yet, Buddhist Iconography sculptural and in painting constitutes by far the greatest in number and variety. In that, however, sculptural art occupies the most part. Further, again, wood sculpture in that land of wood-yielding vegetation, forms the greater measure of iconographic material. In fact, Japan is not so fortunate in the availability of stone that can sand fine chiseling or carving, as China and India. With this background it is but reasonably justified that specialistic study of stone sculpture in icons and other subjects is undertaken and brought to the notice of scholars and the lay public. In doing so, the available stone material: early artifacts, religious icons and other subjects have been present here in eight Sections and a Map. The Sections deal with Early Artefacts, Decorative Sculptures, Lanterns, Pagodas, Engravings, Buddha Images, Images of the Buddhist Pantheon and Biku, Bikuni & Rakans. The approach followed is one of stating briefly the historical periods to which they belong, the styles adopted and the environment in which they were produced and placed. Each one of the pieces discussed is illustrated, barring only a few. The over all survey made of the sculptures of the Buddha and the Buddhist pantheon in stone in Japan, is a unique contribution to the study of Buddhist iconography in general and that in Japan in particular.
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About the author

A K Bhattacharyya

A renowned scholar in East Asian Art in addition to his contribution to the study of all branches of Indian art, Professor A.K. Bhattacharyya has made a mark as an art-historian since long. His other interests include epigraphy and numismatics in which he has well-known publications. One of his works on Aspects of Perso-Arabic Epigraphy of India has earned worldwide commendation. His visits to Japan four times since 1968 and upto 1980, include a stay for a year in that country on a Japan Foundation Fellowship which he utilized in visiting almost all places of Buddhist interest, studying temples and sculptures. He took special care to study the stone sculptures in the southernmost island, Kylshi, by personal visits to the caverns and the rock-cut images in the Oita Prefecture and a few other places. Back from the study-tours in the Republic of China and Japan, Professor Bhattacharyya was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship for his wide range of contribution to the study of the art of India and abroad. Among his works, A Corpus of Dedicatory Inscriptions for Temples of West Bengal; A Pageant of Indian Culture "Art & Archaeology; Historical, Cultural and Political Aspects of Perso-Arabic Epigraphy of India; Development of Buddhist Iconography in China, Korea and Japan from Indian Concepts; Buddhist Stone Sculpture of Japan; Thai Buddhist Iconography" Calcutta University on is dissertation: Studies in Jaina Iconography. Academically he has the most distinguished records and his linguistic equipment is the most unique in India, being a graduate in Arabic, and B.A. (Hons.) and M.A. in Sanskrit with a First class. He also secured the first class position in M.A. in Islamic History and Culture with Epigraphy and Numismatics as special subjects. He held important positions in India throughout his career. After being a Lecturer and Principal of Colleges for the first eight years of his service career, he served as Asstt. Curator, Archaeological Survey, Deputy Keeper and Keeper of Art Deptt. at the National Museum, New Delhi, Superintending Archaeologist in charge of the Museums Branch of the Archaeological Survey of India, and finally as Director, Indian Museum, Calcutta. On retirement, served the National University in the Republic of China as Visiting Professor.

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Bibliographic information

Title Early and Buddhist Stone Sculpture of Japan
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8170174228
length 90p., Figures; Col. & B/w Plates; Map; Notes; References; Bibliography; Index; 28cm.