This section examines the Chinese influence on Japanese Buddhist images from the Asuka period (538–710) through a number of exhibited works. The Standing Bodhisattva, excavated in Bo’xing County (see cover and back cover pages), shows stylistic features of late Northern Wei-dynasty images, such as long hair with upturned curls flowing over both shoulders, a stole that crosses in an X-shape in front of the figure's abdomen, and lower his area slightly protruding forward. The elegant eyebrows, slightly upturned almond-shaped eyes, and archaic smile also resemble that of the Nara temple Hōryūji’s Guze Kannon.
Another image on display is the gilt bronze Śākyamuni Triad (fig. 4), which has an inscription dating to Tianbao 7 (556) of the Northern Qi dynasty and is owned by the Shandong Provincial Museum. This sculpture, while small, has a relatively large boat-shaped mandorla that fits behind all three images. The treatment of the robe hems and stole ends that fan out to the right and left and the boxy drapery folds are reminiscent of Śākyamuni Triad in Hōryūji’s Main Hall. The head of the fragmentary guardian figure at the foot of Anqiu Municipal Museum’s Standing Bodhisattva (fig. 5) is also similar to the Kongō gigaku mask (among the treasures dedicated to Hōryūji), which is said to have been introduced to Japan by the Paekche artist Mimashi in the twentieth year of Empress Suiko’s reign (612).
Another interesting discovery in this exhibition is the use of cut gold technique, known as kirikane in Japanese, on a fragmentary bodhisattva statue (fig. 6). The incorporation of finely cut gold leaf for the triple layered linked tortoiseshell motif of the decorative sash on this image─excavated from the temple Longxingsi in Qingzhou and dating to the Northern Qi dynasty─confirms the Chinese origin of this technique. Cut gold leaf can also be seen on Hōryūji’s celebrated Tamamushi zushi shrine and the Main Hall’s Four Heavenly Kings.
The three bodhisattvas with cicada-ornamented crowns will be exhibited at MIHO MUSEUM until December 2007 after the closing of the special exhibition.