Shaka Sanzon (釈迦三尊)

Shaka Sanzon is a style in Buddhism for installing Buddha images.

In Japan, this style normally installs Shakanyorai with a robe worn with the right shoulder exposed with Semu-in, Yogan-in or Seppo-in as the Chuson (center) with Monju Bosatsu riding on a lion to the left and Fugen Bosatsu riding an elephant to the left (as attendant figures).
(The 'left' and 'right' here refers to the 'left' and 'right' seen from the Chuson.)

Rarely, Shakanyorai's attendants are Yakuo Bosatsu and Yakujo Bosatsu instead of Monju Bosatsu and Fugen Bosatsu. Yakuo Bosatsu and Yakujo Bosatsu are thought to be brother Bosatsu, and they cured people of diseases of the mind and body by giving them good medicine.

The attendant figures of the Shakanyorai Sanzon figures (National Treasure) in Horyu-ji Temple Kon-do are said to be Yakuo Bosatsu and Yakujo Bosatsu according to temple legend. The attendant figures of the Honzon Shakanyorai of Kofukuji-ji Temple Chukon-do in Nara (Kamakura Period, Important Cultural Property), are also called Yakuo Bosatsu and Yakujo Bosatsu. The Yakuo Bosatsu and Yakujo Bosatsu of Kofuku-ji Temple were originally attendant figures for the Honzon Shakanyorai in the Saikon-do (removed) Kofuku-ji Temple, and the current figures were reconstructed in the Kamakura Period, but Yakuo Bosatsu and Yakujo Bosatsu figures have been installed in the Saikon-do since it was established during the Nara Period. These Yakuo Bosatsu and Yakujo Bosatsu figures are ordinary Bosatsu figures without any outstanding characteristics regarding appearance, clothing, accessories, etc.

There are also examples of attendant figures being Kannon Bosatsu and Kokuzo Bosatsu or Bonten and Taishakuten.

The various schools of Zen sects such as Rinzai sect, Soto sect and Obaku sect place importance on 'Shaka as a human' and in some cases have Daikasho-sonja and Anan-sonja as attendant figures to Shakanyorai, together with Judai deshi or Juroku Zenshin.

Nichiren sect and Hokke sect place importance on 'Shaka as Honbutsu' and install a Taho Pagoda (pagoda) in the center with Shakamuni-butsu and Taho-nyorai on either side. The attendants are the four major Bosatsu, Benhuadiyong, Jogyo Bosatsu, Muhengyo Bosatsu, Jogyo Bosatsu and Anryugyo Bosatsu. In this case, it differs from other Sanzon figures in the configuration of one Seson-two Bosatsu, but is a two Seson-four Bosatsu.

[Original Japanese]