Buddhist Sculpture
This episode features Buddhist statues in the Nara area dating from the Tempyo era (729-749), which saw a flowering of the arts. SHOCK EYE, a member of the band Shonan no Kaze, looks at the Great Buddha in Todaiji Temple. State-of-the-art technology reveals surprising facts about the numerous statues at Toshodaiji, Oka-dera, Shorinji and Daianji temples. The late photographer Irie Taikichi managed to capture the surprisingly gentle expressions on the Asura (Ashura) statue at Kofukuji temple, a national treasure. References to this particular demi-god, said to be fond of fighting, date back 5,000 years. The Shinyakushiji Temple is home to statues of the 12 Guardian Deities, which were once lavishly colored. A modern Buddhist statue artisan has managed to restore the original colors of the Vajrapani (Shukongoshin) statue at Todaiji Temple. The statue of this guardian deity is kept in the temple's Hokke-do pavilion, and rarely put on public display. The actor Watabe Gota dresses up as a living Buddha.