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The earliest Japanese sculptures of the Buddha are dated to the 6th and 7th century. They ultimately derive from the 1st- to 3rd-century AD Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, characterized by flowing dress patterns and realistic rendering, on which Chinese and Korean artistic traits were superimposed. After the Chinese Northern Wei buddhist art had infiltrated a Korean peninsula, Buddhist icons were brought to Japan by Various immigrant groups. Particularly, the semi-seated Maitreya form was adapted into a highly developed Ancient Greek art style which was transmitted to Japan as evidenced by the Kōryū-ji Miroku Bosatsu and the Chūgū-ji Siddhartha statues. Many historians portray Korea as a mere transmitter of Buddhism. the Three Kingdoms, and particularly Baekje, were instrumental as active agents in the introduction and formation of a Buddhist tradition in Japan in 538 or 552. They illustrate the terminal point of the Silk Road transmission of Art during the first few centuries of our era. Other examples can be found in the development of the iconography of the Japanese Fūjin Wind God, the Niō guardians, and the near-Classical floral patterns in temple decorations.

Japanese Art Stencils