The Golden Figures of Buddha and Buddhist Sites in Thailand

The Golden Figures of Buddha and Buddhist Sites in Thailand, photographs
Adoption Amount: $250
Category: Build and Access the Collection
Location: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Library

Tai ōgon no butto, ōgon no hotoketachi : [shashinshū] = The golden figures of Buddha and Buddhist sites in Thailand

By Banri Namikawa. Tokyo: Nihon Hoso Shuppan Kyokai, 1987.

Legend has it that during the third century B.C., the Indian emperor Ashoka (272-232 B.C.) sent monks to Thailand to spread the teachings of the Buddha. Archaeological evidence contradicts this story, indicating that the earliest contact between Thailand and India did not occur until 50-250 A.D. In any case, Hinayana Buddhism and Hinduism were firmly established in Thailand by the fifth century A.D., and Buddhism had become the state religion by the 13th century. Banri Namikawa (1931-2006)—a Japanese photographer who spent much of his life documenting cultural heritage along the Silk Road and cultural sites throughout Asia, the Middle East, and South America—captured images of the Buddha and objects of Buddhist cultural heritage of Thailand in this Japanese-language book, タイ黄金の仏都・黄金の仏たち. The book is a beautiful celebration of Thai Buddhist cultural heritage in stone, clay, bronze, and gold.

Discover more about this book in our Catalog.