Description This is a portable shrine of the type that played a role in the transmission of Buddhism from Central Asia to China, and from China to Korea and Japan. Carved out of a single piece of wood somewhere in China, it may have been subsequently carried to Japan. Most of the figures can be identified, but it is not customary to show them all together. The historical Buddha Sakyamuni is shown preaching the Lotus Sutra, one of the Mahayana Buddhist texts. He is flanked by his chief disciples and by donors. Above, Buddha from the distant past appears, and below an orchestra plays. On wings at the top are a pair of Bodhisattvas, Manjusri and Samantabhadra. Below them are the sixteen disciples of Sakyamuni called arhats (the Sanskrit word for a highly realized Buddhist ascetic) or lohan in Chinese.
- Pilgrimage and Buddhist Art. Asia Society, New York. 2010.
Provenance Yamanaka & Co., New York [date and mode of aquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1920; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Inscriptions [Sticker] Y B 1980 (Yamanaka & Co.)
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1920
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