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Gilt Lacquered Wood Buddha Statue
Nichiren Daishonin
Founder of the Nichiren Shu Sect

Edo Period, circa: 18th-19th century
H 5.25" (13.5cm.), W 5.25" (13.5cm.), D 3.75" (9.5cm.)

Condition: minor losses

Antique Japanese wood statue with black lacquer and traces of gilding, gilded base with red pigment details, worn with age but complete with no major losses. Depicting Nichiren Daishonin (1222–1282) the embattled monk who crystallized the essence of the lotus sutra.

Zen Master Nichiren

Nichiren is seated in meditation posture, with hands in the nebina gassho mudra, the clasp of the firm and sincere heart. Nicely carved with flowing robes and floral embroideries.

Sold To Private Collection


Because he denounced religious practices of his day, Nichiren angered both the priesthood and the government, and was arrested and taken without a trial to the execution ground in Tatsunokuchi to be beheaded. The Daishonin readied himself at the place of execution, but the moment the executioner raised his sword a brilliant flash of light came from the direction of Enoshima Island, blinding the executioner, who dropped to the ground. The other soldiers fell from their horses or rode away. No one was able to take the Daishonin's life. Instead he was exiled and continued in his path. He wrote:

how can a person like myself win release from sorrow?
I find myself recalling the poet of old
who hoped
that because he was a humble-hearted
dweller in the mountains
he might be free of such sadness.
Now, gathering together my thoughts
as the men of Naniwa gather seaweed
to extract salt, I give them form
with my writing brush
as a memento for people in later ages. …
even a single phrase
cherished deep in one's heart
will without fail
help one reach the opposite shore.
To ponder one phrase and practice it
is to exercise navigation.
Only the ship of nam myoho-renge-kyo
enables one to cross the sea
of the sufferings of birth and death
Zen Master Nichiren rtZen Master Nichiren lt
Nichiren  backZen Master Nichiren
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