Hokyointo stupa, sculpted in five parts from a brown-gray igneous stone. Clearly dated to the 10th year of the Kanei Era (1633), early-Edo Period. Very minor old loss, with an old line of repair running diagonally across the cylindrical uppermost part.
Height: 160 cm
Width of foundation: 40 cm
Depth: 40 cm.
The name of this distinctive style of Japanese stupa derives from the Hokyoin Darani sutra. The earliest hokyointo, dating to the Heian Period (792–1185), were made of wood or gilded bronze and functioned as repositories for copies of that eponymous sutra. From the Kamakura Period (1192–1333), hokyointo were made nearly exclusively of stone and employed as funerary markers, particularly of exalted personages. Accordingly, hokyointo are relatively uncommon and only rarely become available in the market.
This sizable, handsome example, all of a piece and in laudable condition even after the passage of nearly four centuries, is a recent deaccession from the Ashikaga Museum of Art in Ashikaga City, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan.