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Japanese Giltwood Medicine Buddha, Yakushi Nyorai, Muromachi Period 16th Century



A striking Japanese late Muromachi Period (1333-1573) lacquered and giltwood figure of Yakushi Nyorai, the Medicine Buddha, seated upon an elaborate carved openwork lotus pedestal, Japan, mid-16th century. The Medicine Buddha, known as Yakushi Nyorai in Japan, is seated upon a large and elaborate multi-tiered lotus pedestal. Yakushi Nyorai is dressed in the typical robes of the Buddha, with his chest exposed. His voluminous robes drape and POOL elegantly around his robust figure. He holds up one hand in abhaya mudra, the gesture of dispelling fear. In his other hand, he holds a medicine pot shaped as a lotus bud, his identifying attribute. His hair is arranged neatly in rows of tight curls. He has painted rock crystal inset eyes, as well as a rock crystal orbs to the middle of his forehead and the front of the urna. The tall pedestal Yakushi Nyorai sits upon is masterfully carved. The top section features a large and bold upturned lotus pedestal, with individually carved overlapping petals in three tiers. The lotus sits upon a round cloud pillow with a separately carved lotus petal surround. The lotus is supported underneath by a lion that crouches upon a downturned lotus pedestal. A two-tiered stepped pedestal reminiscent of temple or pagoda architecture, complete with decorative railings, supports the entire structure. The Buddha figure is created from separate blocks of cypress carved and joined together for form the full figure, which is then lacquered and gilded. The figure most likely with the original consecration or dedicatory material to the interior, as there is movement to the interior when the piece is picked up. Yakushi Nyorai, the Medicine Buddha, is an important figure in the Japanese Buddhist pantheon. Patrons would often commission images of Yakushi Nyorai as a symbol of thanksgiving after recovering from an illness, ascribing their recovery to the Medicine Buddha.


  • Dimensions
    Height: 20.5 in. (52.07 cm)Width: 12 in. (30.48 cm)Depth: 11 in. (27.94 cm)
  • Style
    Edo (Of the Period)
  • Materials and Techniques
  • Place of Origin
  • Period
  • Date of Manufacture
    circa 1550
  • Condition
    Wear consistent with age and use. Minor losses. Minor fading. The Buddha: scattered losses, including missing a thumb, and part of the ear; gilding mostly gone, with the lacquer flaking in some areas. The pedestal: loss to some elements, evidence of gluing. Missing the halo. Please see photos.
  • Seller Location
    Austin, TX
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU894716136351

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    $175 Standard Shipping
    to anywhere in the world, arrives in 3-5 weeks.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Austin, TX
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 7 days of delivery.

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About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in Austin, TX

Founded in 2001, Lotus Gallery offers a carefully curated selection of furniture, jewelry, sculpture and works of art spanning millennia, continents and cultures. Although it seeks out beauty in all its forms, they specialize in Asian antiquities, especially Chinese pieces from the Han and Tang dynasties and chinoiserie. Based in Austi...

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Established in 2001
1stDibs seller since 2010
154 sales on 1stDibs
Typical response time: 2 hours
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