In describing this meditating Buddha, Tanabe Saburosuke, a professor at Musashino Art University, singles out the elegant quality of the small mouth and lowered eyes. He points to the subtle modulation of the robe wrapped around the shoulders and the precise modeling of the body (see Tanabe Saburosuke, "Seated Amida," in Nenge misho Buddha's Smile: Masterpieces of Japanese Buddhist Art, edited by London Gallery, Tokyo, 2000). The sense of harmony and stability combines the best of late Heian with the greater realism of the Kamakura period. Worship of Amida (Sanskrit, Amitabha) Buddha arose in the late Heian period among both aristocracy and the general populace in hopes of attaining entry to his Western Paradise.
As is typical of most bronzes from this period, the body is cast in several pieces. Here, the section from the right shoulder to the left hand is separately cast, the joint scarcely visible. The figure originally would have been placed on a lotus pedestal. For another Kamakura-period seated bronze Amida with similar casting technique, see Kuno Takeshi, Butsuzo meihin shin-hakken (Newly discovered masterpieces of Buddhist sculpture), Tokyo, 2008, pl. 6. For a smaller 12th-century example of a seated bronze Amida from Daigoji Temple, Kyoto, registered as an Important Cultural Property, see Kondo butsu: Tokubetsuten Special Exhibition: Gilt-bronze Buddhist Statues, Tokyo, 1987, pl. 218.
As Professor Tanabe points out, Buddhist icons such as this one were separated from their original context during the persecution of Buddhist temples in the Meiji period in the late nineteenth century and then again in the period of turmoil in the late 1940s and 1950s, following the Pacific War.