Butsuzō zui 仏像図彙

Butsuzō-zui (Butsuzōzui) 仏像図彙, or Illustrated Compendium of Buddhist Images, was first published in 1690 (Genroku 元禄 3), and has since become a landmark Japanese dictionary of Buddhist iconography. Hundreds of black-and-white drawings, with deities classified into categories based on function and attributes. For an extant copy from 1690, visit the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Library. An expanded version, known as the Zōho Shoshū Butsuzō-zui 増補諸宗仏像図彙 (Enlarged Edition Encompassing Various Sects of the Illustrated Compendium of Buddhist Images), was published in 1783. View a digitized version (1796 reprint of the 1783 edition) at the Ehime University Library. Modern-day reprints of the expanded 1886 Meiji-era version, with commentary by Ito Takemi (b. 1927), are also available at this online store (J-site).

In addition, see Buddhist Iconography in the Butsuzō-zui of Hidenobu (1783 enlarged version), translated into English by Anita Khanna, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 2010.

Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796-1866) was the first modern scholar to introduce the Butsuzō zui to Europe and western audiences. He included images from the 1783 enlarged Butsuzō zui in his landmark Nippon Archiv zur Beschreibung von Japan (published 1831), and since then it (the Butsuzō zui) has remained a primary source on Japanese religious iconography for generations of scholars in the West. It served as a guide for Émile Guimet (1836-1918), the founder of the Paris-based museum Musée Guimet. In recent times, Louis Frédéric (1923-1996) used it extensively in his Buddhism (Flammarion Iconographic Guides). Many of the images from the Butsuzō zui also appear throughout the online A-to-Z Photo Dictionary of Japanese Buddhist Statuary (the site you are now reading).

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A-to-Z Photo Dictionary of Japanese Buddhist Statuary