This statue is a replica of the Japanese national treasure, Bosatsu Hanka Zou. The statue is in the nunnery built by Prince Shōtoku, a semi-legendary regent and a politician of the Asuka period (lasting from 538 to 710 (or 592 to 645)) in Japan who served under Empress Suiko
The Bosatsu hanka statue depicts Bodhisattva sitting in the half-lotus position. The statue represents its contemplation of the way of saving people as he practices methods of enlightenment. Its exquisitely beautiful smile is considered one of the three great smiles in the art world, along with the Great Sphinx of Giza and the Mona Lisa
The coloring is done by Chihiro Takamura, one of the leading practitioners of Buddhist statue painting.
About Chihiro Takamura: Born in Tokyo in 1962, she entered Joshibi University of Art and Design (majoring in oil-painting) after high school graduation. In 1987, she was taken in as a student by Fuzan Hirano, a master of colored woodcraft. For the next 20 years, she devoted herself to her craft and began painting wooden statues based in Buddhist imagery and Japanese classics. More recently, she independently established the Chihiro Takamura Painting Institute. Her diverse creative talent ranges from familiar imagery to works of profound artistic merit. In examining the works of Chihiro Takamura, it is worth noting that up until the Edo Period it was normal to apply color to Buddhist statues, but this changed during the Meiji Period when the formalistic ideas of Western Sculpture became pervasive and the coloring of Buddhist statues stopped. In contrast to such climate of the times, the revival of ancient Japanese colored wood carving was made possible largely due to the efforts of Denchu Hiragushi, a giant of Japanese sculpture world who received the Order of Culture. Denchu left behind many famous works and the color work for these works were mostly taken charge of by the colorist Fuzan Hirano. Chihiro Takamura is a legitimate successor of Fuzan and is the foremost figure in the coloring of Buddhist statues today.