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  5. Amida (Amitabha) Coming over the Mountain
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Buddhist Paintings

Amida (Amitabha) Coming over the Mountain

  • Hanging scroll
  • Color on silk
  • 120.6 x 80.3 cm
  • Kamakura Period (13th Century)
  • National Treasure
  • AK 282
  • Kyoto National Museum

The popular, Kamakura Period painting theme of "Amida Coming over the Mountain," usually shows the central image of Amida facing forward with both hands held over his breast. This pattern can be seen in the Zenrinji and Konkaikomyoji "Amida Coming over the Mountain" scrolls. In this scroll, however, Amida comes not over a mountain but across a valley, accompanied by six Bodhisattva attendants. He faces not forwards but to the left, with his right hand raised and his left hand down. Though this posture is atypical of "Amida Coming over the Mountain" paintings, it is common in other raigozu ("Decent of Amida Buddha" paintings). Since it contains no other narrative elements, such as the pious Buddhist on his deathbed awaiting Amida's salvation in the Chionin raigozu scroll, it can be categorized as a variation on the "Amida Coming over the Mountain" theme.

The composition of this work is well-balanced and its portrayal of the figures is elaborate and reverential. It can be counted among the representative Buddhist paintings of the Kamakura Period.

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