Buddhism Statue Craftsman History (Japan) #4
#4 From Kamakura period (12th ? 14th century) to the present
Even if Kei group had the golden age in Kamakura period, other group didn’t vanish completely.
In the end of Kamakura period, Japan had got unstable, and the Imperial Court had been separated into two.
The early 14th century, Japan had got stable again by Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, Muromachi Bakufu the 3rd Shogun. And In group joined hands with new administrators, calm statues came back again.
From the latter of Muromachi period to Sengoku period (Warring states period, 15th -16th century), realistic statues came back again.
We have to know remarkable article during this period.
That is craftsman Shukuin. He appeared at Nara. He was a special in comparison with other craftsmen.
He was a carpenter, not a monk (other craftsmen were one of a monk (had a holy orders)).
He used Japanese cypress, and he didn’t color to statue (his works are all naked wooden statue).
And he sold statues at own store (other craftsmen made statues to order).
The name Shukuin was hereditary name, we found three persons had used this name for 80 years.
Almost current craftsmen’s style resemble to Shukuin. I mean, almost current craftsmen are not a monk. And their works are almost naked wooden statues.
After warring period, and Edo period had begun (17th ? 19th century), many statues and temples had been restored to its former condition by many craftsmen from coast to coast. Sometimes awful statue can be found, because hastily acquired craftsmen were increased.
On the other hand, unique and pretty statues also appeared by Enku and Mokujiki (they were a monk).
Current Japanese people have tendency to love naked wooden statues because we have a lot of chance to watch faded statues. However, I see colorful statues at old house. I guess people of Edo period has saw restored statues.
In 1868, Japan have become modernized nation. It’s Meiji period.
Meiji government adopted the principle of separation of government and religion, so new age and new wave approached to Buddhism statues (example for Buddhism statue with western methods, just a fine art statue with unbelieving and so on…). We can see various statues. Perhaps the present is reform times.