Jocho (定朝)

Jocho (D.O.B. unknown - died September 2, 1057) was a sculptor active in the latter part of the Heian period and is said to be the sculptor who perfected the technique called yoseki-zukuri, in which the main part of a statue is made out of two or more pieces of wood. Son of the sculptor Kosho.

The shallow sculpting of the drapery with folds arranged in parallel lines, and the serene expressions of Jocho's simple and graceful Buddhist statues suited the preferences of the Heian aristocracy and this style was called 'Buddhist Style.'
According to historical accounts there is much evidence of his work however the only statue in existence that can be identified with certainty as his work is the wooden seated Amida Nyorai Statue (a national treasure), the principal object of reverence at Byodoin (Kyoto). While examples of work in the Jocho style of sculpture came to be formalized, this Amida statue is a superb work which is highly acclaimed as a representative work of Jocho.

Buddhist statues ascribed to Jocho remain in existence around the country. There is also a sculpture of a Jizo Bosatsu (Bodhisattva) in a temple in Wakayama Prefecture which is ascribed to Jocho.

[Original Japanese]