Sculpture of Aizen Myo-o


Sculpture of Aizen Myo-o, The Wisdom King Aizen Myo-o, wearing ‘shishi’ head-dress and seated on lotus throne; with six arms, each holding one of his attributes: bow, arrow, vajras (only two missing). Made of lacquered and pigmented wood, with inlaid crystal eyes and some metal fittings.

Japan, early Edo period, ca. 17th century

A Highly Important Wood Sculpture of Aizen Myo-o 藍染明王 (Ragaraja) – Japan – Edo Period (1600-1868)

P R O V E N A N C E:

Old Japanese private collection

Note: Original lacquered and pigmented wood!

Highly Important Sculpture Aizen, a carved and polychrome-painted figure of the Buddhist deity Ragaraja, depicted with two crystal inlaid eyes and six arms, holding various elements, seated in full lotus position atop a lotus-form base.

High 33 cm, Wide 16 cm, Deep 13 cm.

Aizen is one of the five Myō-ō (Sanskrit: Vidyarajas), ‘Kings of Light’, personified spells and protectors of the esoteric Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism, whose principal deity, Dainichi Nyōrai (Mahavairacana), is the Buddha from whom boundless light emanates. Aizen has an open mouth, with protruding fangs and a lion-head crown with five pointed vajra hook, He has six arms, each holding one of his attributes: his lower pair of hands holds the bell of awakening and the vajra of quelling, the implements that represent respectively the female or Womb World Mandala and the male or Diamond World Mandala. His middle pair of hands holds a bow and arrow, the weapons of Indian god of love, Kamadeva. His upper hand brandishes a lotus flower that brushes aside all obstacles, and his left is raised in a fist grasping the desired outcome of the rite.

Cf. a related Aizen Myoo (Ragaraja), created in the 13th century, is classified as an Important Cultural Property and is in the collection of the Nara National Museum

Cf. a related Aizen Myoo (Ragaraja) in the British Museum (inventory no. 1885,1227.27).

Condition: Excellent condition with old wear, minor flaking to lacquer, small losses, natural age cracks, minor nicks, and chips, six attributes: bow, arrow, vajras (only two missing). Overall, as expected and commensurate with age and size.


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