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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Dates/Places: Japan, Kamakura Period
Creator Active Place: Japan, Kamakura Period
Creator Name-CRT: Japan, Kamakura period
Title: Aizen Myoo (Ragaraja)
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1300
Creation End Date: 1399
Creation Date: 14th century
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: wood, with black lacquer and red pigments
Dimensions: Overall: 75cm x 59cm x 35cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1987.185
Credit Line: Bequest of Elisabeth M. Skala
Context: This fierce, seated figure of Aizen Myoo (Ragaraja in Sanskrit) possesses six arms, each of which once held an attribute signifying the religious power of the icon: thunderbolt, bell, bow, arrow, lotus flower, and clenched fist. A third eye appears between the furrowed eyebrows. Also visually prominent is the lion's head emerging amid Aizen's flaming hair strands. Its similar bulging eyes and ferocious mouth echo the expression of its iconographical vehicle: Aizen.This deity of Esoteric Buddhism was introduced into Japan during the ninth century, a period of intense religious fervor. Myoo (King of Light) often signify a ferocious or angry aspect of the Buddha of Wisdom, whose other aspects include spirit and graciousness. Indeed the wrathful appearanceofAizen conceals an equally intense search for spiritual enlightenment through love of the Buddha, a trait it seeks to instill in mankind. Aizen is especially associated with the quelling of worldly passions and became an increasingly popular, and potent, religious icon from the late ninth century onward.The sculpting technique of this figure is noteworthy because it is carved from a single block of dense wood, except the four posterior arms. Most Buddhist sculpture of the thirteenth century and later is composed of numerous thinly carved pieces of wood carefully joined together and elaborately embellished with surface decor. The result is a light, detailed image often imbued with
AMICA ID: CMA_.1987.185
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights:
Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art
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