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Historically Important Monumental Japanese Bodhisattva
PROVENANCE: Former property from the collection of Anthony M. Kurland Jr of Maine. Archaeologist with degree from Yale and PhD from Harvard. Ex Society of the Cincinnati Museum Collection
High 110 cm., Wide 53 cm.
17th -18th century, Edo period, Japan.
Historically Important Monumental Japanese Bodhisattva. Seated in vajrasana with the hands outstretched in Varada and Vitarka Mudras, clad in a dhoti falling in pleats around his knees, scarf bandoleer his chest, his face displaying a serene expression with inlaid downcast eyes below arched eyebrows that run into his nose-bridge, bead inlaid urna, smiling lips, pierced elongated earlobes, the hair combed in a intricate chignon decorated with ornaments to the front, placed on a separated carved lotus pod with upturned petals set on a separate carved hexagonal two-tiered throne decorated with various rectangular cartouches containing meander patterns and various flower specimen and horse-shoe shaped mandorla carved with central head and body nimbuses encompassed by a flaming border set in relief with the Twelve lineage figure Buddha’s of the Past and the character Man (the swastika symbol of Buddhism) at the top. Black and gold lacquered surface.
* The Swastika Symbol in Buddhism
In Buddhism, the swastika signifies auspiciousness and good fortune as well as the Buddha’s footprints and the Buddha’s heart. The swastika is said to contain the whole mind of the Buddha and can often be found imprinted on the chest, feet or palms of Buddha images. It is also the first of the 65 auspicious symbols on the footprint of the Buddha.
The swastika has also often been used to mark the beginning of Buddhist texts. In China and Japan, the Buddhist swastika was seen as a symbol of plurality, eternity, abundance, prosperity and long life.
The swastika is used as an auspicious mark on Buddhist temples and is especially common in Korea. It can often be seen on the decorative borders around paintings, altar cloths and banners. In Tibetan Buddhism, it is also used as a clothing decoration.