Shotoku Taishi, anonymous, c. 1200 - c. 1350
Buddhism took hold in Japan in the middle of the 6th century. Around 600, the statesman Shotoku Taishi was a major advocate of the new religion. He would later be revered as a deity himself. Here Shotoku Taishi is represented as a child of two, the age at which he is traditionally believed to have worshipped Buddha for the first time. The sculptor has successfully rendered a childlike face, but one that nonetheless conveys great wisdom.