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A Heavenly General (One of the Junishinsho)

A Heavenly General (One of the Junishinsho)

1200s

Wood with lacquer, polychromy, gold, and crystal eyes

Overall: 117.2 cm (46 1/8 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1988.53

Fun Fact

A fierce facial expression warns us not to cross this protective deity.

Description

This dynamic figure was originally part of a set of Twelve Divine Generals (Junishinsho) that stood in a Japanese Buddhist temple hall, protecting the central icon of the Yakushi Nyorai, the Healing Buddha. This sculpture was constructed from many pieces of thinly carved wood joined together with pins, then covered with hemp cloth and lacquer paste, and finally decorated with pigments. Eyes made of crystal, with painted details, finish the composition. The profileration of religious sites throughout Japan, particularly in Kyoto, kept sculptors’ studios busy creating religious icons.

See also

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