The Vision and Art of Shinjo Ito


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Shinjo Ito (1906-1989), founder of the Shinnyo-en stream of Buddhism, was one of Japan’s most versatile Buddhist sculptors and an accomplished artist in fields as diverse as calligraphy and photography. Throughout his life, he created countless artworks as a way of giving form to his deeply held faith. In 1957, he produced what is probably his greatest milestone, the Great Parinirvana Image: a 16-foot (480 cm) long statue of Buddha Shakyamuni about to enter his final nirvana. The book is an inspirational testament to one of Japan’s most significant modern religious artists. For the first time, this book fully reveals Shinjo’s unique capacity to meld spirituality and artistry, as well as realism and interpretation. The work of Shinjo Ito can be admired for the artist’s skill and the beauty of their execution, but Shinjo also created them to inspire and inform meditation and contemplation.

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