Stone gorinto (lit. 5-tiered stupa) sculpted in four parts from a lightweight volcanic stone. Muromachi Period ca. 1500. Minor old loss. Variegated lichen accumulation.
Height: 64 cm
Width/Depth of base: 19.5 cm
The gorinto is a uniquely Japanese style of stupa comprising five geometric forms, which correspond (from bottom) to earth, water, fire, wind, and ethereal space. The Japanese Shingon sect of esoteric Buddhism views the gorinto as a symbol of Dai-Nichi Buddha, who, underlying all things, manifests himself in the five elements making up the physical world.
Gorinto sculpted in four parts, the uppermost part comprising two of the five geometric forms, are far more uncommon than gorinto sculpted from a single stone. This sizable, sharply sculpted example shows a notable elongation of the two uppermost geometric forms, a stylistic feature seen on some, though not all, late-Muromachi-Period gorinto.