New equipment and merchandise featuring Yoshitaka Amano’s Lotus Sutra artwork are now available. The Nichiren Shu sect of Buddhism commissioned the illustration for the 800th anniversary of Nichiren Shonin’s birth. The original was exhibited in the Tanjoji Temple in Chiba Prefecture in February 2021. Now the Nichiren shinbun, a special publication run by the cult, has opened an online store to sell products featuring the illustration. [Thanks, Famitsu!]
The Lotus Sutra is an influential script in Buddhism. Several schools of religion have been established on this basis, including the Nichiren Shu. Formally named Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sutra (“The White Lotus Sutra of True Dharma”), it is said to contain the final teachings of the Buddha. Presented as a literary drama full of mythological scenes, the Lotus Sutra has many illustrated versions. Yoshitaka Amano’s version depicts the Buddha surrounded by Bodhisattva disciples.
The online shop features a variety of articles that feature the illustration of Yoshitaka Amano’s Lotus Sutra. Items for sale include fairly typical merchandise, such as postcard sized posters and prints of the picture, tote bags, mugs, stationery files, and more. However, a few other unique pieces are also on offer, worthy of the work’s status as an element of religious iconography.
One element is an oversized tapestry, designed to hang on the wall. Unlike most typical wall hangings, it is twice the size of the original, measuring 3 meters (15 feet) long. Only ten will be created, and each costs 120,000 JPY (approximately $ 1,050). It is marked as “out of print” on the website.
Another highlight is the illustration of the Lotus Sutra mounted on a traditional Japanese scroll, made of silk brocade. It is 1.34 meters long (about 4 feet) and costs 150,000 JPY (about 1315 USD).
A more affordable version of the artwork comes in the form of a “Goshuincho” stamp book, for JPY 2,500 (about $ 22). Goshuincho are special books used by people visiting shrines and temples in Japan. For a small fee, a visitor can hand their Goshuincho to the staff at any temple or shrine, who will then stamp the book with the temple’s name and write the date, allowing them to record the visit. People often use them as a souvenir or to record the stages of a pilgrimage.
There is one article that may be of interest to buyers with particularly deep pockets. Autographed, framed, high quality replicas of Yoshitaka Amano’s Lotus Sutra illustration are available direct via Nichiren shinbun. The replicas are 1.89 meter x 1.51 meter (approximately 6’2 ″ L x 4’11 ″ W) and cost 3.5 million JPY (approximately $ 30,652).
The products of the Lotus Sutra Yoshitaka Amano are available through the Nichiren shinbun online shop. Amano also created character designs and illustrations for several games in the Final fantasy series, including concept art for the upcoming Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker expansion.