The volume presents the Buddhist iconography of Japan as depicted in the Butsuzozui, a collection of iconographic sketches of various Buddhas that falls under the genre of Zuzo collections of iconic drawings in black and white. Inspired by the Chinese style of paintings called Paihuo or Kakubyo, the over 800 sketches presented here bear reference to the landmark work of this genre compiled in CE 1175 under the title of Besson Zakki and are arranged on the basis of the treatise of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. Butsuzozui presents Buddhism as it has been adapted in Japan, with the collections of Buddhist icons divided into five parts. It contains the list of sources, especially the scriptures. It deals with Chinese icons of Fudaishi and his sons--the laughing Buddhas; sketches on the birth of the historical Buddha, his search, Sambodhi and parinirvana; the nine categories of Amida and the classification of the seven Buddhas of healing (Shichi Yakubutsu). It introduces the amalgamation of Buddhist and the native Shinto deities, a unique feature of Japanese Buddhism. The sections that follow expand the list of the protector Gods associated with the Japanese beliefs and the different historical personalities associated with the various sects of Buddhism in Japan.
The volume will interest scholars of Buddhist religion and art.