Japanese / Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in the Form of Chintamanichakra (Nyoirin Kannon) / Kamakura period, early 14th centuryJapanese
Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in the Form of Chintamanichakra (Nyoirin Kannon)
Kamakura period, early 14th century

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Creator Nationality: Asian; Far East Asian; Japanese
Creator Name-CRT: Japanese
Title: Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in the Form of Chintamanichakra (Nyoirin Kannon)
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1300
Creation End Date: 1333
Creation Date: Kamakura period, early 14th century
Creation Place: Japan
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: Cypress wood with pigment, gold powder, and cut gold leaf
Dimensions: H. 19 1/2 in. (49.5 cm)
AMICA Contributor: Asia Society
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 1979.205
Credit Line: Asia Society: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection
Rights: http://www.asiasociety.org
Context: The introduction of Buddhism to Japan was one of the most important events in Japanese history and had a lasting effect on the development of its thought, art, and culture. According to Japanese sources, Buddhism was introduced from the Korean kingdom ofPaekche in either 538 or 552 as part of a series of diplomatic exchanges that also led to a broader awareness of the beliefs and material culture of China and Korea. The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in the form of Chintamanichakra, represented in this sculpture, was introduced to Japan during the Heian period (794-1185) and became one of the six most common forms of the bodhisattva. The combination of weightiness and bold decoration help date this sculpture to the early 14th century, the closing years of the Kamakura period (1185-1333). The bodhisattva's body was covered with a paste of yellow pigment and gold powder (fundame), much of which has been lost. His eyebrows and mustache were drawn in black ink, and his lips and chignon were painted red.The posture and six arms help identify this as an image of Chintamanichakra. He would originally have held a flaming jewel (chintamani) in his middle right hand, and a wheel (chakra) would have been balanced on the index finger of his upperleft hand. The name of this form of the bodhisattva derives from these two attributes. The wheel symbolizes the Buddhist law, while the jewel of wisdom represents the bodhisattva's ability to grant any wish. His relaxed posture indicates that he is resting in his personal pure land on Mount Potalaka, which traditionally is said to be located in the sea south of India.
Related Document Description: 'Asian Art in American Museums.' Sculpture Review 33 (Fall 1984), pp. 16-17.
Related Document Description: Asia Society. Handbook of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection. New York: Asia Society, [1981], p. 92.
Related Document Description: Jenkins, Donald. Masterworks in Wood: China and Japan. Portland, Ore.: Portland Art Museum, 1976, pp. 92-93.
Related Document Description: Kurata, Bunsaku, ed. Zaigai Nihon no shiho (Japanese Art Treasures in Foreign Collections). Tokyo: Mainichi Shinbunsha, 1980, vol. 8, pl. 11, no. 9.
Related Document Description: Lee, Sherman E. Asian Art: Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd--Part II. New York: Asia Society, 1975, pp. 66, 100.
Related Document Description: Mayuyama: Seventy Years. Tokyo: Mayuyama and Co., 1976, vol. 2, no. 342.
Related Document Description: Rosenfield, John M. 'The Perfection of Japanese Sculpture.' Apollo (November 1983), p. 429.
Related Document Description: Shimada, Shujiro, ed. Zaigai Nihon no shiho (Japanese Art Treasures Abroad). Tokyo: Mainichi Shinbun, 1981, vol. 9, fig. 9.
AMICA ID: ASIA.1979.205
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, Asia Society

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