The Great Buddha of Kamakura

The Great Buddha of Kamakura (Kamakura Daibutsu) is a bronze statue of Amitabha Buddha located at the Kotoku-in Temple in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, less than an hour from Tokyo. It is an invaluable example of Japanese historical Buddhist art and is designated a National Treasure by the Japanese government. It is 11.3 meters tall and weighs 93 tons.

According to the Azumakagami, a chronicle describing the achievements of the Kamakura Shogunate from the late 12th century through the mid-13th century, construction of the Great Buddha began in 1252. It was preceded by a giant wooden Buddha, which was completed in 1243 and was damaged by a storm in 1248. The Statue was originally housed in a large wooden building which was destroyed by typhoons in 1334 and 1369 and by earthquake and tsunami in 1498. Since then, the Buddha has been standing in the open air.

photos: Junko Nagata ©