The Great Buddha Of Kamakura, Japan

2258 Words10 Pages
In the city of Kamakura, Japan sits The Great Buddha of Kamakura, or in Japanese, Daibutsu. This large bronze statue is located in Kotokuin, a Buddhist temple and stands at 13.35 meters (almost 44 feet), weighing in at 93 tons (Figure 1). Cast in 1252 in the Kamakura period, the statue sat under a wooden structure for cover. But the building was destroyed by a tsunami in the 15th century and the statue has since endured the elements. The Buddha statue is actually the second largest Buddha monument in Japan, is considered a National Treasure and is at the center of what many think is one of the city’s greatest cultural heritages, the Kotokuin temple (Daibutsu 2). This monument is impressive not only for its size but also for the importance it holds in Buddhist culture and belief.
The Great Buddha is an example and reminder for Japanese Buddhists that to be enlightened, one must disregard desire and be compassionate to all, like the Buddha; it also displays in the artwork specific attributes of the Buddha as well as Mudras, or meaningful hand gestures and is also one of the most popular visiting sites in Japan.
Japan has had Buddhist practices since 552 A.D. Today Buddhism is still a huge part of the culture with about 85 million people or two thirds of the population identifying with Buddhist teachings. (Buswell 384). It is important to note that Japanese Buddhism differs from traditional Buddhism; in Japan the most popular schools of Buddhism are Pure Land Buddhism,
Open Document