Buddhism has been around for thousands of years and its principles have spread far from India, southeast Asia and finally to Japan. Along the way and over the years, the cross-cultural contemporaries changed the shape of scriptures and statues.
Just like the Sutras, sculptures are adopted in different virtues among the scattered domains of dharma. The variation between Buddha statues in several Buddhist countries is a prime example of this. The most commonly observed buddha poses are the Meditation or Sitting Pose.
But, coincidentally, replicas of famous figures around the world are recorded in three poses, namely Sitting, standing and lying down. Although lying down is rare in Japan, it can still be found.
Kotoji Temple’s Reclining Buddha
Unbeknownst to many, the city of shimabara in Nagasaki has its own reclining Buddha. The pose depicts the Buddha at the point of Paranirvana, when he experiences death in the last world.
As he lay at Kotoji Temple, this buddha looked languidly from the bizan mountain and out into an obscure collection of buildings. Obviously physical presence was not the Buddha’s primary concern.
The Reclining Pose is not only found in one place but also at the Nanzoin Temple in Sasaguri. Perhaps Japan’s largest depiction of this rarest pose is here with a bronze weight of 250 tons, 41 meters long and 15 meters high.
Kotoji’s Buddha Compare to Others
IN Thailand you will find a 4 meter long reclining Buddha resting in euphoria at the temple of Wat Pho, Bangkok. The Buddha at wat pho is an alloy of copper and gold and in its place you find a glowing red light.
However, despite the network connection with Wat Pho it turns out that the reclining Buddha in the temple of nanzion will not be impressive. The Reclining Buddha at Nanzoin is 41 meters long which makes it the largest bronze statue in the world
Meanwhile, the Buddha at Kotoji Temple is among the quiet hedges. The waves between the sea of gray grave markers, all of which appear without a view and without a sound under the green volcanic mountain of Shimabara.
Being on top of the graveyard mountain probably makes up for the significant qualities of the shimabara reclining buddha. Why? For when the blind lays down his head before dying, he will leave an enlightened worldly presence.
Built in 1957, the statue shrine has a history that stretches back to the feet of its Fukuoka companion. In fact, this shrine commemorates the general who once suppressed the Shimabara Christian rebellion.
The rebellion involved the murder of 39,000 Christians. This silent Buddha seems to shrink from the other temples in the irony of suffering idolized. This made him even more Buddha, thousands of slain people made up for his absence.