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Important Art Object

Prince Shotoku at the Age of Two


Artist By Koshun
Period Kamakura period, dated 1320
Materials and techniques Wood with paint
Size Overall H.68.0


The statue of an infant, in vermilion trousers and hands locked in prayer, is believed to be that of Prince Shōtoku at age two. The statue was carved based on the biography of the prince. The idea to honor the childhood of great religious leaders was originated during the Kamakura period. It is thought that based on this idea, the statue of a child representing the infant’s sweetness and wisdom of the future leader was produced. According to the inscription found inside the statue, it was made in 1320 by the Buddhist sculptor Kōshun who belonged to the school of the great sculptor, Unkei. Together with his son, Kōsei, he left works in many parts of Japan.

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