NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

2007/1/29

大迫磨崖仏 Osako-magaibutsu Giant Buddha Rock Carving

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In Chitose, Bungo-ono, Oita Prefecture, there is an impressive sculpture of the Dainichi-Nyorai Buddha (Vairocana: the embodiment of Dharmakaya) carved from rock. It is said to have been made by Nichira in 1533.

The rock sculpture is about 3.2m high and was made using a technique called 'sekishin-sozo' in which the body is carved from stone; the face, arms and legs are made of clay; and the robe is made of plaster.

More than half of the face of the sculpture, which has an intimidating and forceful expression, is covered with dirt and clay which, along with its monstrous torso, creates a distinct and extraordinary atmosphere. The sculpture draws visitors into a compelling and profound world.

Since ancient times, locals profess that the sculpture is an 'ushigami', whose reputed power to work wonders and answer prayers attracts visitors and worshippers.

Festivals take place here twice a year on 28 January and 27 August. In 1976, the sculpture was designated as an Important Cultural Property of Oita.

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Nagamine, Chitose-machi, Bungo-ono, Oita Prefecture
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Giant Buddha Rock Carving




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