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Raijô was a sculptor of Buddhist images to whom the Kei school of sculptors traced its roots.

A disciple of a disciple of Jôchô[1], Raijô came to Nara from Kyoto in 1096 to help repair and replace sculptures at the Kôfukuji damaged or destroyed in a fire. Afterward, he and members of his studio remained in Nara rather than return to Kyoto.

The connections between Raijô and Kôkei, founder of the Kei school, who was active roughly a century later, are unclear, but the school nevertheless claimed him (i.e. his style) as strongly connected to, or of great importance to, their origin.


  • Morse, Samuel C. "Revealing the Unseen: The Master Sculptor Unkei and the Meaning of Dedicatory Objects in Kamakura-Period Sculpture." Impressions 31 (2010). p26.
  1. Mason, Penelope. History of Japanese Art. Second Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2005. p188.