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The Buddhist deity Achala Vidyaraja (Fudo Myoo)
Place of Origin: Japan
Date: 1200-1300
Historical Period: Kamakura period (1185-1333)
Object Name: Hanging scroll
Materials: Ink and colors on silk
Dimensions: H. 68 1/8 in x W. 42 1/4 in, H. 173 cm x W. 107.3 cm (image); H. 101 1/2 in x W. 53 in, H. 257.8 cm x W. 134.6 cm (overall)
Credit Line: Museum purchase
Department: Japanese Art
Collection: Painting
Object Number: B70D2
On Display: No

Description

Label:

Fudo Myoo, "the immovable one," is one of the powerful Five Bright Kings of Shingon, a Japanese school of Esoteric Buddhism. This popular god is believed to protect the religion and its followers, and as a result many sculptures and paintings of him were made for temples throughout Japan. Images of Fudo are easily recognizable: his long, straight hair is pulled to the left of his head and arranged in a braid that hangs down his chest. He holds a sword and a rope, symbols of his power, in his left and right hands respectively. His threatening visage is an expression of his ability to ward off evil forces. Here Fudo is seated on a tiered platform of piled angular rocks, surrounded by a swirling flame.

Open only to the initiated, the Esoteric Buddhist ritual that took place before the painted image involved the burning of goma, a holy fire of cedar sticks. As a result, the upper part of the painting is blackened with oily smoke, partially obscuring the face and flames.


More Information

Exhibition History: "Masterpieces of Oriental Art from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Kyoto National Museum, 10/17/1995 - 11/26/1995
Label:

Fudo Myoo, "the immovable one," is one of the powerful Five Bright Kings of Shingon, a Japanese school of Esoteric Buddhism. This popular god is believed to protect the religion and its followers, and as a result many sculptures and paintings of him were made for temples throughout Japan. Images of Fudo are easily recognizable: his long, straight hair is pulled to the left of his head and arranged in a braid that hangs down his chest. He holds a sword and a rope, symbols of his power, in his left and right hands respectively. His threatening visage is an expression of his ability to ward off evil forces. Here Fudo is seated on a tiered platform of piled angular rocks, surrounded by a swirling flame.

Open only to the initiated, the Esoteric Buddhist ritual that took place before the painted image involved the burning of goma, a holy fire of cedar sticks. As a result, the upper part of the painting is blackened with oily smoke, partially obscuring the face and flames.


Exhibition History: "Masterpieces of Oriental Art from the Collection of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco", Kyoto National Museum, 10/17/1995 - 11/26/1995