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.