Description This is the rain dragon coiled around Kôbô Daishi's sword. Kôbô Daishi (also known as Kûkai; 774-834) was a Buddhist priest who studied in China and founded the Shingon sect of Buddhism in Japan. It is said he used a sword that had a dragon wrapped around it to bring rain at the end of a drought. This kozuka is unusual because it is made of wood and ivory, with a tortoise shell cap.
Provenance Henry Walters, Baltimore [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters
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