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Unformatted text preview: t him dressed as Amida and the twenty-five attendant
The temple where Michinaga died, the Hòjòji, is no longer in existence, but we are told that he had it built with the intent of reproducing
on earth the beauties and delights of the pure land. Michinaga’s son, the
regent Yorimichi (992–1074), also sought to recreate the pure land in the
Byòdòin, a temple at Uji, several miles to the south of Kyoto (fig. 24). 74 The Court at Its Zenith Fig. 25 Statue of Amida buddha by Jòchò at the Byòdòin Temple (Consulate
General of Japan, New York) Opened in 1052, the first year of mappò, the Byòdòin has the finest remaining examples of Fujiwara period architecture, including the much
admired Phoenix Hall, a light, elegantly designed structure that was
apparently given its name in later times because it is shaped like a phoenix
(or, at least, like a bird), with wings extended in flight. Inside the hall is
a sculptural representation of the raigò, with a central image of Amida
and, attached to the upper parts of the walls, small, gracefully shaped
figures of the bodhisattvas, adorned with halos and riding wisps of clouds.
The Amida image, which is made of wood and has the characteristic
gentleness and courtly air of Fujiwara art, is the work of Jòchò (d. 1057),
the most celebrated sculptor of his age and one of the first persons in
Japanese history to receive distinction and honor from the court as an
artist of individuality and not merely as a craftsman (fig. 25).
Although no examples of domestic architecture remain from the Heian
period, we know from written accounts and picture scrolls what sort of
mansions the courtiers built for themselves during the age of Fujiwara
ascendancy. The chief architectural style for aristocratic homes, known
as shinden construction, consisted in fact of a collection of one-story
structures laid out very much like the Byòdòin Temple (fig. 26). Fig. 26 Shinden-style mansion of the Heian period (drawing by Arthur Fleisher) 76 The Court at Its Zenith Inasmuch as the courtiers preferred to live within the city limits of
Kyoto, they were obliged for want of space to build their homes on fai...
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This note was uploaded on 02/08/2013 for the course ANTH 142 taught by Professor Hans during the Spring '13 term at The University of British Columbia.
- Spring '13