Extremely rare. A pair of hand shrines for husband and wife, showing on the inside the bodhisattva Fugen (larger one) and Monju (smaller one). Monju – on the lion - is holding a nyoi scepter, while Fugen – on the elephant – holds a lotus flower topped by a pagoda. Extremely fine carving, especially fine in the rendering of the lion and the elephant with exquisite painting in mineral colors, gofun and gold. The outside of each shrine covered in fine nashiji lacquer, over which in slightly raised gold lacquer a Tokugawa mon on the cover and the same mon on the back in silver. The zushi must have been made by special order for someone in the Tokugawa family line. Japan, Edo period, early 19th century.
H 2-½ inches; 2-9/16 inches.
Comes with kiri-wood storage box.
Fugen and Monju bosatsu (Compassion and Wisdom) are the two bodhisattva that accompany the historical Buddha Shakyamuni / Shaka Nyorai.
Zushi with beautiful hardware on the front; inside the figure of Yakushi Nyorai (medicine Buddha), sitting on a high lotus throne, holding the medicine jar in his left hand and with his right hand making the gesture of picking medical herbs. He is surrounded by 16 rakan, painted onto the inside of the doors (not decals). On the mardorla behind his head two apsara are painted, playing the sho and the flute. High quality carving. Wood decorated in mineral colors and gold. Japan, Edo period, likely late 18th century, perhaps early 19th century at the latest.
H of case ca. 9 ¼ inches.
Painting on the doors a bit darkened, slightly chipping; some lotus petal with tiny chip, otherwise in very good condition.
Nichiren Buddhist shrine with the sculpture of Kishimojin holding an infant in her left arm and raising her right hand in a kind of mudra. Wood beautifully decorated in mineral colors and gold. Japan, Edo period, around 1800.
H of case ca. 9 ½ inches.
Paint a bit flaking at top of figure, otherwise very good condition.
Kishimojin, or Kariteimoten originally was a demon who had a thousand children. Still she would eat the children of others. Buddha’s teachings converted her. She is a guardian deity of Buddhism, especially of small children. In Nichiren Buddhism she is venerated as guardian deity for easy birth and raising children.
She sometimes is shown as a standing figure, sometimes in the shape of a male demon, more often as a female figure with a baby in her arms and several small children around her. In one of her hands she may hold a pomegranate (symbol of fertility) that Shakyamuni gave her to bite into, if she felt a craving for children’s flesh. The male and female, demonic and human shapes sometimes merge, showing her different aspects in one statue.
Several different states of Kishimojin can be found in our listings.
Buddhist shrine showing the Amida triad (Amida sanzon), coming out of Paradise to meet the dying and accompany their souls to the Western Paradise. In the middle stands Amida Nyorai, both his hands in mudra. To his right Kannon bosatsu holding the lotus and to his left Seishi bosatsu with his hands folded in prayer. Very well carved soft wood, such as sugi, stained a beautiful brown. The figures are all sunk into the bottom of the zushi. Japan, Edo period, 19th century.
H case ca. 12 inches.
A few breaks repaired (mainly in the mandorlas), all in all very good condition.
Nichiren Buddhist shrine with the image of Kishimojin inside in demonic appearance, her hands folded in prayer. Wood sculpture with beautifully painted details. Eyes inlaid in glass or crystal. Japan, Edo period around 1800.
H of case 12 inches.
Hanging scroll. Three toads personify war lords waging war against each other, mounted on snails and suzumushi, while ants, bees, spiders, suzumushi, earwigs and praying mantises are doing the actual fighting. Ants with guns in the background. Signed Bunko Shotei ga, and with red seal reading Shotei. Ink and mineral colors on silk. Japan, Edo period, 19th century.
Image: H 37 ½ x W 13 ½ inches; whole H 65 x W 18 ½ inches.
Very rare composition. Most insect paintings depict daimyo procession persiflage (mitate), which is connected to peace time travel to and from the capital.
Although no information can be found on Shotei, the painting is clearly in the tradition of the Maruyama/Shijo school. Most or all paintings with insect processions, or fox processions in light colors, fading into the background were painted by Maruyama/Shijo painters, among whom Nishiyama Hoen. Many of Hoen’s paintings are in the British Museum.
Sculpture of Shomen Kongo, standing with 6 arms, holding ghanta and sword, bow and arrow, halberd and chakra. Shomen Kongo protects against demons and diseases. Wood stained black, with metal parts. Japan, Edo period, shortly after 1800.
H ca. 11 inches.
Sword missing, few traces of usage. All in all very good condition.
Small shrine holding the image of the Buddha Dainichi Nyorai, sitting on a lotus base, before a circular mandorla. Doors decorated on the inside with an exquisitely painted motif of star-shaped flowers. Wood decorated in mineral colors and gold. Very high quality. Thin metal for mandorla and crown. Japan, Edo period, 18th century.
H of case ca. 5 inches.
Most of the crown missing, some traces of usage but all in all in excellent condition.
Kabuto maedate, or ornament that sits in the front of the Japanese helmet. Ornament in the form of a karasu-tengu (crow tengu) mask, as used in the bugaku theater. Thin chased and corroded iron. Japan, 19th century.
H 5 ½ inches.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has a helmet with a similar ornament. Accession no. 36.25.133a–d. Viewable online.
Kabuto maedate, or ornament that sits in the front of the Japanese helmet. Antlers. Thin corroded bronze with patches of gilding. Japan, 20th century.
H 8 ¼ inches.
Hanging scroll. The eight-armed deity, bearing arms and a coiled snake (the deity Ugajin) on her head, sits on a lotus-leaf-seat, flanked by Daikoku and Bishamonten. Before her are the 15 disciples, or jugo doji, above her the sun and the moon.. Ink, mineral colors and gold on silk. Japan, Muromachi period, around 1500.
Painted area: H 38 3/8 in. x W 18 5/8 in.
Few horizontal creases, but all in all in excellent condition.
A similar painting of Benzaiten and the 15 disciples is in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, inventory no. 11.4107. Even though it dates from an earlier part of the Muromachi period, and the composition is different, there is a striking similarity in the details on the garments and in the hairdo of the doji and the size of the painting. The Tokyo National Museum holds another comparable painting under inventory no. C0018069 /A-1228.
Bronze sculpture of a Dakini, dancing on a human body on a lotus base. Two part cast. Khmer, Bayon style, 19th century or later.
H ca. 13 inches.
Ex Doris Wiener, New York
Very small shrine holding the figure of Dakiniten riding a white (or silver) fox. Dakiniten is worshiped at the Toyokawa Inari temples. The zushi is on the inside encased behind a glass pane, surrounded by painted treasure symbols. These kind of zushi are sold at the temple to the patrons and other visitors. Polychromed wood with abundant gold and silver Japan, dated Taisho 13 (1924).
H of case ca. 4 inches.
Comes with original fitted kiri-wood storage box, inscribed with the receiver’s name (juyo), a Kyoto address, dated Taisho 13, 9th month, 17th day, Toyokawakaku and stamped with a red seal.
Enpukuzan Toyokawa, Myogonji is a temple dedicated to the eleven headed Kannon and Dakiniten and the fox Inari. It was originally founded in 1441 by Tokai Gieki. Most of these temples were rebuilt in the Meiji era or even later, hence many of the products of these temples are from modern times. Worshipers traditionally are merchants.
Small shrine containing the figure of the sitting 11 headed Kannon, holding a flask in his left hand, his head crowned with the 10 heads of the different Buddhist deities, including Amida. He is sitting on a lotus throne that holds inside the figure of a reclining lion. The back of the zushi has a small moveable segment (now glued shut) that is supposed to reveal something in the base of the Kannon. The doors are decorated with inscribed ihai or ancestral tablets set in a field of autumn flowers and river. Japan, late Edo period, 19th century.
H of case 7 inches.
Traces of usage, mainly on the in- and outside of the case, moveable segment glued.
Very small shrine holding the figure of a priest sitting in a typical chair, a fly whisk or hossu in his hands. He possibly is Todai Gieki, the founder of the Toyokawa Inari temple (1441). The zushi is on the inside encased behind a glass pane. These kind of zushi are sold at the temple to the patrons and other visitors. Japan, Taisho or Showa era, 20th century.
H of case 4 inches.
Excellent condition. Certain weather types prevent the doors from fully closing.
Enpukuzan Toyokawa, Myogonji is a temple dedicated to the eleven headed Kannon and Dakiniten. Most of these temples were rebuilt in the Meiji era or even later, hence many of the products of these temples are from modern times. Worshipers traditionally are merchants.
Small shrine with a wooden sculpture of Jizo, standing with a jewel in one hand (which are missing), his staff (which is missing) in the other. Here he is represented as Danda Jizo, assisting those who are suffering in hell and saving small children from the wheel of rebirth. The paintings on the doors show naked children chased by demons in hell. Polychromed wood with delicate details. Metal madorla. Japan, late Edo period, around 1800.
Height zushi: ca. 7 ½ inches.
Paintings on the doors rubbed, hardware fragile but functional. Jizo’s hands and attributes missing, glue stains on his back and feet.
Rare subject. Painting on the left door shows a human pleading with a demon holding a giant club, while below a child is being led away by a female soul. The right hand door shows a large red demon with club, chasing a child, while mothers seem to be wailing.
Shrine with a wooden sculpture of Shichimen Daimyojin in sitting pose, one leg crossed over the other. She sits on the summit of mount Shichimen, one of her shoes by her side, holding a (golden) jewel in her left hand and another object, likely a key that is now missing, in her right hand. The wood decorated with gold and mineral colors. Metal mandorla behind her head, decorated with flaming jewels. Japan, late Edo period, late 18th century.
Height zushi: ca. 11 inches
Some cracks in the wood, flaking lacquer at the base, some cracks in the lacquer on the figure, stabilized with clear finish, all in all in stable condition
Shichimen Daimyojin is the protectress of Minobu, the site of temple Kuonji, general quarters of the Nichiren sect and burial place of the founder of the sect. Mount Shichimen is south of Minobu.
Kabuto maedate, or ornament that sits in the front of the Japanese helmet. St. Jacob’s shell. Gilded wood. Japan, 19th / 20th century.
H 7 ¾ inches, W 7 ½ inches.
Good condition, restored chip, some traces of usage.