Wood, gold paint, gold leaf with lacquer, and inlaid crystal eyes
Figure: H. 33 in. (83.8 cm); W. 9 3/8 in. (23.8 cm); D. 103/8 in. (26.4 cm)
Pedestal: H. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm); W. 14 in. (35.6 cm); D. 11 in. (27.9 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1912
Not on view
Amida Nyorai (Sanskrit: Amitabha Tathagata), the Buddha of Limitless Light, sits upon a lotus pedestal at the center of the altar. His hands form a mudra of meditation. His benevolent gaze, directed toward the devotee below, is symbolic of his boundless compassion. Amida is flanked by his attendant bodhisattvas (kyōji ), Kannon (Sanskrit: Avalokitesvara) at right, and Seishi (Sanskrit: Mahasthamaprapta) at left, and is escorted by flying celestial beings. This sculptural configuration, known as an Amida Triad, or Amida-sanzon in Japanese, is a visualization of the Welcoming Descent (raigō) of Amida, who descends to this world with his heavenly retinue to provide salvation for all believers who have called upon his name. When a believer dies, Amida and his retinue venture to this world to rescue the deceased.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Celebrating the Arts of Japan: The Mary Griggs Burke Collection," October 20, 2015–January 22, 2017.