Standing Shomen Kongo (lit., Blue-faced Vajrapani) sculpted in relief from a gray-hued igneous stone. Mid-Edo Period ca. 1700. Very minor old loss. Light lichen accumulation and remnants of dried moss.
Height: 48.5 cm
Width: 28.5 cm
Depth: 19 cm
In the Esoteric Buddhist tradition, Shomen Kongo is a fearsome deva believed to protect against disease. With six arms/hands holding various symbolic Esoteric attributes, three eyes of which one is vertical, a monkey-head crown piece, a skull necklace, and a fearsome scowl, this is a classic Shomen Kongo depiction, with one remarkable exception: the round-headed pointy-eared critter poking out from beneath the garment at a point between and above the knees. While such a crotch-critter is neither accounted for in the literature nor typically observed on Shomen Kongo depictions, it is reasonable to assume that it was intended to function as a special amulet against venereal disease.
A thoroughly intriguing rarity with extraordinary presence. Highly collectible.