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Metalwork: Ritual Implements of Esoteric Buddhism

"Metalwork: Ritual Implements of Esoteric Buddhism"

Japanese Gallery (Honkan) Room 13  January 2, 2017 (Mon) - April 9, 2017 (Sun)

  
Symbols Representing Buddhist Deity, Excavated at Mount Nachi, Nachikatsuura-cho, Higashimuro-gun, Wakayama, Heian period, 12th century (Gift of Mr. Kitamata Tomeshiro and others)

In the 9th century, Kukai and other Japanese monks travelled to Tang dynasty China, bringing back the teachings of Esoteric Buddhism and its ritual implements. During the Heian period (794–1192), esoteric doctrine and its application to practical training were established, and the combination of ritual implements required for a set was defined in Japan. Often made of durable metals, these varied and uniquely-shaped implements were not only used in rituals but also served an ornamental function, being methodically positioned inside Buddhist halls and on altars. Visitors are invited to view these diverse implements and their richly-expressive forms achieved mainly through casting techniques.

Current exhibit includes:
Buddhist Ritual Bell with Five-pronged Vajra Handle, Design of symbols representing a Buddhist deity, Heian period, 12th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Gokokuji, Tokyo)
Set of Five Ritual Bells,
Kamakura period, 13th century (Important Cultural Property, Lent by Son'eiji, Shizuoka)
Symbols Representing Buddhist Deity,
Excavated at Mount Nachi, Nachikatsuura-cho, Higashimuro-gun, Wakayama, Heian period, 12th century (Gift of Mr. Kitamata Tomeshiro and others)