Zaō Gongen

Zaō Gongen

蔵王権現像

1200s

Wood

Average: 106.7 cm (42 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1973.105

Location

Did you know?

Zaō Gongen wears the pelt of a large feline, the face of which is near his knee.

Description

Zaō Gongen is the guardian deity of Mount Kinpu in Yoshino south of Nara. Zaō appeared at the behest of En no Gyōja, who prayed for a powerful protector of the mountain. The deity was described as a combined manifestation of the Buddha Shakyamuni, Thousand-Armed Kannon, and Miroku. These three deities were viewed as the past, present, and future protectors of the world. Zaō’s appearance derives from portrayals of fierce Buddhist deities.

Video

Buddhism in Japan
How It Was Made
See also
Collection: 
Japanese Art
Department: 
Japanese Art
Type of artwork: 
Sculpture
Medium: 
Wood

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