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.