Dec 23, 2013

Monju as a Child

Monju as a Child



Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk

Overall: 61.7 x 38.7 cm (24 5/16 x 15 1/4 in.)

Bequest of Maud Eells Corning 1992.385



In this work, a young boy dressed in Japanese court costume holds a sword and sacred text, symbols of wisdom carried by the bodhisattva Monju, and rides a lion, also associated with that Buddhist deity. As boy and lion pass beneath a sketchily inked tree, the lion pauses, right foreleg suspended in midair, and the pair looks back. The relatively naturalist posing and sensibility of the painting, as well as the boy’s attire, suggest the possibility that he is a manifestation of a Wakamiya, a youthful kami (a Japanese deity), whose Buddhist counterpart is Monju.

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