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Thursday, 20th March 2008
In General Japan News,

Sculpture sets record during auction

A Japanese wooden sculpture has sold for a record amount during a recent auction in New York.

The piece of art, believed to be the work of Unkei, was sold for a total of $12.8 million, making it the highest-selling piece of either Buddhist or Japanese art worldwide, reports Kyodo News.

Unkei's piece, which dates back to the 12th century, was purchased by Mitsukoshi, a prominent department store chain.

"It was spectacular, because we're only here to bid some small goods. And actually this was the first time for me to join the actual auction," said Frederick White, an attendee at the auction.

"Buddha himself must have been surprised by this."

Unkei was a renowned Japanese sculptor, well-liked during the country's Kamakura period and famous for his depictions of Buddha.

The Kamakura period ran from 1192 to 1333 and it was at this time that the popularity of Buddhism developed in Japan.