Stone gorinto (lit. 5-tiered stupa) sculpted in four parts from tuff, a sedimentary stone composed largely of volcanic ash. Kamakura Period ca. 1250. Minor old loss and variegated lichen accumulation.
Height: 113 cm
Width of base: 45 cm
Depth of base: 45 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. The present example, boasting substantial size and significant age, hails from Oita Prefecture's Kunisaki region, esteemed by Japanese collectors for the depth and quality of its sculptural tradition in stone. Highly collectible.