Antique Buddha Museum Statues
Bronze Zenzai Doji Antique Japanese Lacquered Bronze

Zenzai Doji 善財童子

Shancai Reading Heart Sutra

Circa: Edo Period, 19th Century and earlier
H 10 in.(25cm), W 9.5 in.(24cm), D 8 in.(20cm)
Condition: replaced sutra, corrosion, paint loss and imperfections!
The story of Zenzai Doji as a youth in search of the teachings of the Buddha was first described in the Kegon Kyo Sutra in the 3rd century. On his fifty-three pilgrimages, he encountered fifty-five saints and sages. Then ultimately attained spiritual enlightenment and became a bodhisattva. Zenzai Doji is often depicted as the Red Boy (Sudhana), an acolyte of Kannon Bosatsu. An account of Sudhana is detailed in the classic Journey to the West.
The stance of this charming depiction of Zenzai Doji is lively and naturalistic. He is seated by a rock, dressed in scholar garments, gazed downward studying with a sutra scroll in hands. His eyes and brows are delicate and expressive. Facial features are realistically represented as individualistic portraiture of the youthful immortal, posing in a distinctive composition with fleshiness and movements. The figure is rendered in fluid contours to perfection without any decorative patterns. In its present state, the bronze shows a few small patches of hardened corrosion around the back and indented areas, with a partial surface of burgundy red lacquer faded into gray. The frontal figure has an original patina that varies from bronze color to tint of lacquer red, with dusty incrustation remains on the surface throughout. The aged Tokaoka Doki was likely excavated from below ground at one point. It’s also possible that a small koro was once above the rock to his right. Otherwise, this impressive statue remains in fair and good condition.

Private Collection

Zenzai Doji
Zenzai Doji Back View
Zenzai Doji Close-up

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