Works

mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi

mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi_
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi_
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi_
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi_
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi_
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi_
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi_
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi_

Itoku-in Gokuraku-ji Templemobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi

2023

Name
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi
Production Year
2023
Materials
カヤ、水晶
Technique
寄木造、玉眼
Size
像高17cm
Contractor
移動式厨子(笈)、曲録制作:岩下清
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi
mobile shrine and wooden statue of Kobo Daishi

In the fifth year of the Reiwa era (2023), commemorating the 1250th anniversary of Kobo Daishi’s birth, significant ceremonies took place at Shingon Buddhist temples nationwide. During this period, I received a request to create a portable shrine containing a statue of Kobo Daishi.

This request came from Gewakuin Gokuraku-ji Temple in Tochigi Prefecture. The concept of a “portable shrine” was unfamiliar to me. According to the head priest, it involves carrying a small shrine with a statue of Kobo Daishi and parading it through places significant to him, aiming to share blessings with the temple’s congregation and the local community in Tochigi. Inspired by this concept, the production process began with discussions on how to best represent Kobo Daishi in this role.

Despite the size limitations of a portable shrine, we strived to intricately craft Kobo Daishi’s symbolic attributes, such as the vajra, rosary, ceremonial shoes, crozier, and water flask. Even in a small statue, these symbols ensure immediate recognition of Kobo Daishi.

We also aimed for the statue to make direct eye contact, whether seen by passersby or worshippers. Ideally, the statue would emit a presence through its eyes.

After consultations with the head priest, the final form of the Kobo Daishi statue was realized. This statue, now housed in a portable shrine, will accompany the head priest on his travels to various places, bringing back accumulated blessings to Tochigi. It is my hope that this “traveling statue of Kobo Daishi” will contribute to spreading teachings in Tochigi.