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Cinerary Urn

Cinerary Urn

800s-900s

Part of a set. See all set records

Gilt bronze

Diameter of mouth: 12.4 cm (4 7/8 in.); Overall: 26.1 cm (10 1/4 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1960.55

Description

This urn once held someone’s ashes. It is decorated with images of the Pure Land of Amida, the Buddha of Infinite Life and Light. Heian-period devotees of Amida believed that if they called upon his name with sincerity at the moment of death, they would be born into his Pure Land, also known as the Western Paradise, and thereby escape the pattern of reincarnation. As shown on the lid of the urn, in the Pure Land, musical instruments float about playing by themselves. Its palatial structures and magnificent lotus pond are described on the body of the urn.

See also
Collection: 
Japanese Art
Department: 
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 
Metalwork
Medium: 
Gilt bronze

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