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Daibutsu (大仏, kyūjitai: 大佛) or 'giant Buddha' is the Japanese term, often used informally, for large statues of Buddha. The oldest is that at Asuka-dera (609) and the best-known is that at Tōdai-ji in Nara (752).[1] Tōdai-ji's daibutsu is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara and National Treasure.


Image Name Buddha Size Date Municipality Prefecture Comments
Shōwa Daibutsu.jpg Shōwa Daibutsu (昭和大仏)[2] 21.35 metres (70.0 ft) 1984 Aomori Aomori Prefecture
Ganmen Daibutsu (岩面大仏) 16.5 metres (54.1 ft) Hiraizumi Iwate Prefecture Low relief carving at Takkoku no Iwaya (達谷窟)
Ushiku.jpg Ushiku Daibutsu (牛久大仏)[3] Amida Nyorai 120 metres (393.7 ft) including base and lotus (20 metres (65.6 ft)) 1993 Ushiku Ibaraki Prefecture Japan's largest daibutsu
Postcard Buddha.jpg Nihon-ji Daibutsu (日本寺大仏)[4] Yakushi Nyorai 31.05 metres (101.9 ft) 1790 Kyonan Chiba Prefecture Carved in the 1780s and 90s by Jingoro Eirei Ono and his apprentices and restored to its present form in 1969. Japan's largest pre-modern (and largest stone-carved) daibutsu. The same site is also home to another large Buddha carving, the Hyakushaku Kannon[citation needed]
Kamagaya-daibutsu.jpg Kamagaya Daibutsu (鎌ヶ谷大仏) Shaka Nyorai 2.3 metres (7.5 ft), including base (0.5 metres (1.6 ft)) 1776 Kamagaya Chiba Prefecture Japan's smallest daibutsu made of bronze[citation needed]
Ueno Daibutsu.JPG Former Ueno Daibutsu (上野大仏)[5] Shaka Nyorai 1631 Taitō Tokyo Heavily damaged in the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake and melted down for the war effort
Tokyo daibutsu.JPG Tokyo Daibutsu (東京大仏)[6] 13 metres (42.7 ft) including base 1977 Itabashi Tokyo Weighs thirty tons; at Jōren-ji (乗蓮寺); erected in expiation of the Great Kantō earthquake and the war
Kamakura Budda Daibutsu front 1885.jpg Kamakura Daibutsu (鎌倉大仏)[7] Amida Nyorai 13.35 metres (43.8 ft) 1252 Kamakura Kanagawa Prefecture Subject of the poem The Buddha at Kamakura by Rudyard Kipling; National Treasure
Takaoka Daibutsu 2011-07-15 01.jpg Takaoka Daibutsu (高岡大仏) Amida Nyorai 15.85 metres (52.0 ft) 1981 Takaoka Toyama Prefecture At Daibutsu-ji (大佛寺)
Echizen daibutsu 070203.jpg Echizen Daibutsu (越前大仏)[8] 17 metres (55.8 ft) Katsuyama Fukui Prefecture
Gifugreatbuddha.jpg Gifu Daibutsu (岐阜大仏)[9] Shaka Nyorai 13.63 metres (44.7 ft) 1828 Gifu Gifu Prefecture
Hōkōji Daibutsu Kaempfer.png Former Hōkō-ji Daibutsu (方広寺大仏) 1660s Kyoto Kyoto Prefecture Sketch of c.1691 by Engelbert Kaempfer
NaraTodaijiDaibutsu0212.jpg Nara Daibutsu (奈良大仏)[10] Vairocana 14.98 metres (49.1 ft) 752 Nara Nara Prefecture Restored several times; part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site: Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara; National Treasure
Asuka dera daibutsu.jpg Asuka Daibutsu (飛鳥大仏)[11][12] Shaka Nyorai 2.75 metres (9.0 ft) 609 Asuka Nara Prefecture Japan's oldest daibutsu and Buddhist statue, restored; Important Cultural Property
Hyogo Daibutsu.jpg Former Hyōgo Daibutsu (兵庫大仏)[13] 1891 Kobe Hyōgo Prefecture At Nōfuku-ji (能福寺); melted down in 1944 for the war effort[citation needed] and since replaced
(Nehanzo (涅槃仏)[14] Gautama Buddha 41 metres (134.5 ft) (length) 1899 Sasaguri Fukuoka Prefecture At Nanzoin (南蔵院); contains ashes of The Buddha and two of his disciples.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bamforth, Chris (26 May 2006), "The capital delights of Nara", The Japan Times
  2. ^ "Shōwa Daibutsu". Seiryū-ji. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  3. ^ "Ushiku Daibutsu". Ushiku Daibutsu. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  4. ^ "Nihonji Daibutsu". Nihon-ji. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  5. ^ "Ueno Daibutsu". Daily Yomiuri. 30 March 2010. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Tokyo Daibutsu". Itabashi Ward. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  7. ^ "Database of National Cultural Properties". Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 23 May 2011.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Katsuyama Profile". Katsuyama City. Archived from the original on 7 October 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2007.
  9. ^ "Gifu Shouhouji Daibutsu (Great Buddha)". Shōhō-ji. Retrieved 4 December 2007.
  10. ^ "Database of National Cultural Properties". Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 23 May 2011.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Sandaibutsu". Japanese Architecture and Art Net Users System. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  12. ^ "Database of National Cultural Properties". Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved 23 May 2011.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Daibutsu Hyogo". Nagasaki University Library. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  14. ^ "Karmic Cleansing". Macleans.ca. Retrieved 9 December 2015.

External links[edit]