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  • Thumbnail for One Hundred Images of the Buddha Amida
    One Hundred Images of the Buddha Amida by Anonymous

    Woodblock print in ink on paper; 17.5" x 12". This remarkable object from Jōruriji temple, Kyoto Prefecture, represents multiple stamped woodblock images of Amida, the Buddha of the Western Paradise, whose popularity as an object of devotion in Japan had begun to surge from around the year 1000. It so closely resembles other sheets of similar images that were found inside the central Buddha statue at the temple of Jōruriji, in the mountains between Kyoto and Nara, that it must also come from that group. The statue has been recently dated to the second half of the 11th century and the prints are generally considered to have been made at that time. The sheets were discovered when the statue was restored early in the twentieth century. Many were sold off. They all contain images in ten horizontal rows of ten column length. In this one, although there are only nine rows, the edges of a damaged left column of images are visible. Most, like this one, are made from a single block of nearly identical images. This repetition of images allowed the sheets to be filled faster, and it was believed that the more sheets a devotee filled, the more spiritual merit s/he received. Although the execution of the printing is unsophisticated, compositionally the images create an elegant religious aura. For a discussion of this set and pictures of other, very similar prints from this set, see: John M. Rosenfield and Shūjirō Shimada, Traditions of Japanese Art: Selections from the Kimiko and John Powers Collection. Cambridge, MA: Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 1970, plate 28, pp. 68-69. See also Miyeko Murase, ed. The Written Image: Japanese Calligraphy and Painting from the Sylvan Barnet and William Burto Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002, pp. 84-85.